Determining Capability and Ecological Potential of Roudan City for Ecotourism using Multi Attribute Decision Making (MADM)

Document Type : Full length article


1 Bachelor of Planning and Budget Planning, Hormozgan Governorship, Governor Planning Department

2 Master of Environment, Department of Natural Resources and Watershed, Hormozgan Province


Tourism is a process which has been existed with all its special forms from the ancient times so that the mental, cultural, social and economic demands of the human beings can be met. One of the growing branches of this industry is named as ecotourism. Nowadays, tourism has become one of the main levers of economic and social development in many regions of the world. Tourism in the regions should be based on sustainable development to preserve the nature as well as conserve historical and cultural heritage of that region and the intellectual application of the natural resources. Ecotourism development aligned with eco-environmental potential of the land as an effective tool and approach plays a major role in sustainable development, promoting the life standards of human society and maintaining the natural equilibrium. Assessment of ecological potential is an effective step and suitable tool in order to direct the present activities and functions performed for the land toward a sustainable development. One of the ways for identifying and evaluating the ecological capacity of each region is application of the Multi Attribute Decision Making method (MADM) and comparison of other indices. This method has identified the sites with ecotourism potential in the city of Roudan and, ultimately, suggests the appropriate locations for ecotourism development in the city.
Materials and Methods
The study area in this research is the Roudan city, where located in the east of Hormozgan Province. It is located at the geographical coordinates ranging from 56°50ˊ E to 57°29ˊ E and from 27°5ˊ N to 27°59ˊ N. This research is considered as one of the descriptive studies and of applied type in terms of the relationship. To do this research, first of all, different parameters used to select these sites were gathered by means of a documentary review from different local and foreign authorities.  Therefore, at this point, 11 major parameters and 36 sub-parameters were selected. The parameters were assessed using Delphi technique and the final attributes of ecotourism development including 9 major parameters and 28 secondary parameters were identified and formulated. In the next step, using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and corresponding questionnaire, we determined the relative weights of major parameters and sub-parameters. After the parameters were identified, they were incorporated with each other to find the appropriate regions for tourism development.
Results and Discussion
The results of this study, as an attempt for reviewing the parameters experienced in Iran and throughout the world, demonstrated that both parameters and sub-parameters extracted from different resources are applied for identification of the appropriate regions for ecotourism in the city of Roudan. The study showed that the natural recreational resources have 77% of relative weight and the highest degree of importance. In practice, 56.4 % of the experts and respondents have identified this parameter as one with the very high level of importance, 25.6 % of the experts identified it as the parameter with high importance to select ecotourism appropriate regions amongst the natural ecosystems. Based on the obtained results, the regions with low potential of 141323.5 hectares and 43.4 % of the total lands have most of the land areas in Roudan City. About 9.1 % of the total area of the city including 29711.3 hectares has high potential for ecotourism development, 57327.9 hectares from the surface of the city, equivalent to 17.6 percent, has average potential and about 97344.4 hectares, equivalent to 29.9 %,do not have  the potential.
According to the results, it is clear that the central regions and the regions close to perennial streams have the most potential for ecotourism application. The reason for this is the concentration of tourism targeted villages of Abnama, Ziarat Seyed Soltan Mohammad, Ziaratali and so on in this district of the city. The map of the suitable regions for tourism development in the city of Roudan indicates consistency of high potential regions with the current utilization including the pilgrimage and tourism status of Abnema and Seyed Soltan Mohammad villages as tourism sites and also the villages amongst the high capacity regions of the obtained map. In addition, the existence of natural resources in the city identified the most important attributes of the regions. Amongst the most important resources and facilities of the city, the existence of perennial streams of Roudan and Jaghin is considered as important factors for tourist attraction. It can be suggested that the researchers in the future study the ecological potential and capacity of other regions of Hormozgan province in terms of the ecotourism applications.


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