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Title: Ecotourism Zoning in Protected Areas Using Gis
Authors: Sara Ohadi; Mazdak Dorbeiki; Hooman Bahmanpour
Aff: Department of Environmental Engineering, Damavand branch, Islamic Azad University, Damavand, Iran
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Keywords: GIS; Ecotourism; Jahannama Protected Area; Zoning
Abstract:Zoning has a vital importance in ecotourism management and defines the optimum use of an area based on its environmental capabilities. It also requires the use of applied information technologies such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The aim of this paper is to identify the governing factors in ecotourism zoning. Jahannama protected area was selected as study area which is in Golestan province, Iran. For such research geographical and attribute data were gathered which included land use/land cover, geological, transportation, infrastructures, and tourism attraction map. The data were reprocessed to be used in ArcGIS software for further analysis. Finally, ecotourism zoning map was generated that include four categories. They were (1) Strict Protected Zone in which a conservation zone is demarcated (2) Extensive Recreation Zone that covers most of the study areas (3) Limited Development Zone which is in north east of the study area and (4) Specific Use Zone that includes Jahannama plain. Recommendations are then made for each zone to use them optimally. The recommendations must accompany any long term plan of the parks