Assessing Ecotourism Potential and Capacity of Desert District of Maranjab, Kashan

Document Type : علمی

Authors

Abstract

This paper intends to identify and assess ecotourism potentials of different areas in Maranjab desert, kashan district. The research is an applied one, and a descriptive-analytical research. Both documentary and field studies have been adopted for data collection and thus identification and prioritization of areas with the highest potential for ecotourism development within the desert district of Maranjab. The research aims to address some main questions concerning tourism development in the desert:
1) What are determining factors for attracting tourists to the desert of Maranjab?
2) What area of the desert district has the highest potential for tourism development?
Regarding research main questions, areas with the best potential for tourism development were determined using strategic planning method and Delphi technique. Selected relevant criteria, in order to evaluate research questions, include: existing land capabilities, area's geomorphology, infrastructures, and tourist attractions. Having the selected criteria and sub criteria scored and weighted according to their relative importance, map layers of the area, pertaining to these specified criteria and sub criteria, were prepared using GIS software, in 1:25000 scale maps. Adopting criteria such as slope, proximity to water sources and climate, the area with the best potential for tourism development were determined. Physical carrying capacity of the area was determined based on the proposed area's expanse and the type of tourism is being developed and was estimated to be 67200 people.
Considering the desirable situation of the desert, i.e. its proximity to some populous city centers, effective planning in tourism development could lead to significant job creation and economic prosperity of the area.

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