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Journal: International journal of ecosystems and ecology science (IJEES) (Vol.3, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 651-656

Keywords : ecotourism; development; ecological and cultural resources; Geographic Information System (GIS);

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Recently, ecotourism has flourished and attracts eco-tourists who visit the ecological and cultural resources of the rural landscape, country parks and marine parks. This study was conducted in Sant’antioco Island, southern Sardinia, Italy. The study aimed at analysis suitability of the Island for ecotourism and formulate recommendation for sustainable development of ecotourism This research integrates three characteristics of ecotourism criteria that are environmental factors, recreation factors and sub- structure factors to identify and prioritize the suitable ecotourism sites in the Sant’antioco Island using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and followed FAO (1976) land suitability evaluation framework. The variables used for generating various indices were temperature, slope (%), elevation, land use/land cover, vegetation diversity, mountain sides (prevailing exposure) , rock out crop and the infrastructure accessibility by either road and/or trekking routes in the island such distance from sea and city. The mentioned variables were used for both hard and soft tourists i.e. in this context, hard tourist are those who enjoy tough recreation way for example, rock climbing, and mountaineering and soft tourists are those who relatively like smooth environment for visiting. The suitability result endorsed that 37.28 %( 41km2), 58.78 %( 65 km2) and 3.94 %( 4 km2) of the study area were highly suitable, moderately suitable and marginally suitable respectively for the soft tourist. Here the non-existence of none-suitable class exhibited due to the study area being small in size as well as the major part of the area is moderate slopes. Besides the suitability for hard tourists were 25.49 %( 28km2), 55.60 %( 61 km2), 17.45% (19 km2) and1.46% (1km2) highly suitable, moderately suitable, marginally suitable and non-suitable, respectively. In conclusion the result indicated that the high suitable and moderately suitable area accounted for 96.60% and 81.09%of the total area for soft and hard tourist respectively, which suggested that the eco-tourism resource in the study area is relatively abundant. The study area is suitable for ecotourism development. Therefore sustainable ecotourism is an advocate-able investment area in the study Island. The ecotourism development of the study area should be community based. This strategy will have positive social implication; hence this is a form of ecotourism where the local community has substantial control over and involvement in, its development and management, and a major proportion of the benefits remain within the community.

Last modified: 2013-08-27 08:30:01