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Land suitability map and ecological carrying capacity for the recognition of touristic zones in the Kalat region, Iran: a multi-criteria analysis based on AHP and GIS

Majid Ebrahimi, Hamid Nejadsoleymani and Mohammad Reza Mansouri Daneshvar ()
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Majid Ebrahimi: Hakim Sabzevari University
Hamid Nejadsoleymani: Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
Mohammad Reza Mansouri Daneshvar: Research Institute of Shakhes Pajouh

Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, 2019, vol. 3, issue 3, 697-718

Abstract: Abstract The main aim of the present study is to produce a map of land suitability evaluation (LSE) using analytical hierarchy process (AHP) for the recognition of touristic and recreational levels in the Kalat region, northeastern Iran. The Kalat region, in the vicinity of the border of Turkmenistan and Iran, is a highland comprised of mountains and geomorphologic phenomena. Different environmental factors such as elevation ranges, slope, aspect, soil biomes, geological units, land cover, and groundwater were considered to determine the land suitability of tourism and recreational levels in the study area. Ecological land suitability determined by the LSE map has shown that more than 67% of the area is categorized as suitable tourism zones. Furthermore, the ecological carrying capacity (Eco.CC) of the touristic zones was calculated. Eco.CC calculations revealed the mean annual physical, real, and effective carrying capacities equal to 1,496,135, 484,720, and 697,880 visitors, respectively. Owing to the current status of imported tourists in the Kalat region (less than 50,000 visitors per year), the results reflect the ecological role of the Kalat region to improve its touristic quota in the regional and national levels in future. In the present study, a multi-criteria analysis was proposed for the recognition of levels of touristic and recreational activities composed of AHP and Eco.CC, using regular programs such as Expert Choice, GIS, and Excel software.

Keywords: Land suitability evaluation (LSE); Analytical hierarchy process (AHP); Geographical information system (GIS); Ecological carrying capacity (Eco.CC); Kalat region (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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