A systematic prioritization model maintains standards based on different levels of categorization to evaluate the sustainability of geosites. This approach makes use of an analytical hierarchical method to manage and prioritize a geotourism system on the base of tourism demand. The research concentrated on the importance of sustainable tourism planning to develop and investigate successful tourism activities using algorithmic hierarchical analysis. Nine indicators were used to integrate, identify and prioritize the potential geosites. They were: Distance from the Geosite Index (DGI); Accessibility of the Geosite Index (AGI); Climate Conditions Index (CCI); Regional Topography Index (RTI); Types of Rocks Formation Index (RFI); Geological History Index (GHI); Geological & Geomorphologic Forms Index (GGFI); Tourist’s Infrastructures Index (TII) and Regional Safety Index (RSI). The primary variables used to generate the indices were: rainfall, temperature, moisture, height, formations’ type, formations’ age, stratigraphy, amount of fossils, intrusions, faults, ripple marks, volcanic shears, weathering forms, caves, lakes, springs, waterfalls, canyons, gullies, mines, tourist’s welfare services and safety protections. The significance of the analytical hierarchical process in multi-criterion decision making to solve spatial problems of ranking and prioritizing tourist spots was validated and then verified for a case study in Iran. This proposed modeling technique can be applied to rank geosites around the world and provide criteria to allocate funds for geotourism developments.
Key words: Geotourism, geosite, prioritization, sustainable tourism
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