Potential Assessment of Nature-Based Tourism Destinations Using MCA Techniques Case Study: Lavasan-e Koochak



This study has used simple and effective method for identification and quantitative assessment criteria related to ecotourism areas (nature-based tourism). For assessment and detailed recognition of ecotourism potentials in the Lavasan-e Kouchek rural district, MCA (Multi Criteria Analysis) method was used in six sub watersheds. Fifteen criteria including eight criteria of natural and cultural attraction, one criterion of access, two criteria of facilities, three criteria of local communities, and two criteria of risk of natural disasters were defined. The weight or relative importance of each criterion was calculated by rank sum method. Then, final score of each sub watershed was calculated using weighted linear combination (WLC) method. As a result the sub watersheds were ranked based on their tourism potentials in 5 levels. The principal component analysis (PCA) was used to determining the most effective criteria in tourism potential of the sub watersheds. Results showed that three criteria of Attractions, facilities and local communities are the most important criteria in the formation of the first component with variance 64.7% and also two criteria of access and the risk of natural disasters are the most important criteria in the formation of the second component with variance 26.9%. Then the sub watersheds were classified by cluster analysis. The results suggested that, the six sub watersheds could not be managed and utilized by a unitary program, and at least three developmental programs is needed to manage a sustainable natural tourism in different areas. The findings of this study indicate that Multi Criteria Analysis increase the accuracy of assessments for locating and will out the criteria of a qualitative assessment.