Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 8, Issue 1,2010
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Evaluation of strategic factors in environmental management of nature-based tourism in coastal areas: the case of Gorgan Bay, Iran


Seyed Masoud Monavari, Parvin Farshchi, Sara Ohadi *

Recieved Date: 2009-10-10, Accepted Date: 2010-01-06


Identification of strategic factors plays an important role in the process of environmental planning of nature-based tourism. Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) is a common approach in strategic planning, but it does not define the importance of each strategic factor. Thus, we used the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a decision analysis method based on pair-wise comparisons, along with SWOT to determine priorities of the factors and their contribution in strategy formulation in Gorgan Bay, in the south east of the Caspian Sea, Iran. This region is a complex tourist destination, which consists of many sensitive habitats and has different management structures. Based on the interviews with many experts at environmental management and tourism, the results show that the highest priorities of strategic factors are the members of weakness and threats group. This presents the role and importance of these factors in the process of formulating new strategies or review of them. After identification of strategic factors and their priorities, decision-makers can define new strategies in the next phase of the planning process. In addition, a few examples of new strategies for the study area are proposed in this paper. Our research indicates this method is a useful approach in environmental management of nature-based tourism goals and activities, because decision-makers can easily identify strategic factors. The method can prevent misjudgments and provide an analytical approach for formulating strategies in future, especially in a mix of popular destinations and important environments. The paper concludes that strategic factors affecting internal and external environment of nature-based tourism are very different and complicated. This emphasize on using helpful methods such as combination of SWOT and AHP, which is presented in this paper.


Strategic planning, environmental management, AHP, SWOT, nature-based tourism (NBT), Gorgan Bay, Caspian Sea

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2010
Volume: 8
Issue: 1
Category: Environment
Pages: 353-357

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