Document Type : Original Article
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
Purpose- Today, tourism is mentioned as a suitable approach for socio-economic and physical development in rural areas. Therefore, rural areas have capabilities and potentials in terms of tourist attractions; however, not all areas have the same capabilities for development. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the ecological potential of the study area and to find the relationship and alignment between tourism capacity and ecological potential in rural areas of Mashhad tourism sphere of influence.
Design/methodology/approach- The present theoretical study was conducted with applied purposes using the descriptive-analytical method. GIS and SPSS software and CoCoSo multi-criteria decision-making model were used to analyze the data.
Findings- According to research findings the most influential indicator was the distance to tourism water resources and the least influential indicator was the distance to fault. Therefore, the highest ecological potential belongs to the foothill villages of the study area. Also, in terms of tourism capacity, the most effective factors have been the natural attractions of the village and its suburbs and the quality of village road.
Original/value- On this basis, the highest tourism potentials belong to villages of Pivehzhan, Virani, and Radkan, respectively. According to the results of the study there is a significant positive relationship between ecological potential of the studied villages and their tourism capacity and there is no relationship between the number of tourists and ecological potential of the studied villages.