Narmin Introduction Ecotourism has strong relationship with sustainable

Narmin Nasibova Alham                                                              

Baku Engineering University

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Planning of ecotourism using GIS. A case study of
Gadabay, Azerbaijan

 

Abstract

As we know, ecotourism is a sub-part of the sustainable tourism.
Recently, tourism industry, mainly ecotourism and green tourism is developing.
Ecotourism is the important tool for sustainable development. In this paper
definition of ecotourism was decribed briefly, and why GIS is necessary for
planning of ecotourism was explored and has shown. In the given article
Gadabay, Azerbaijan was selected as a main direction. Because, there are a lot
of forests, historial places, and ecotouristic places in Gadabay, but
ecotourism doesn’t develop enough in this region. The main reason of State
Statistical Committee’s information has shown in this paper. 

Keywords : ecotourism,
planning of ecotourism, sustainable tourism, GIS

Introduction

   Ecotourism has strong relationship
with sustainable tourism. Sustainability depends on the relationship between
environment and tourism.

????rding t? Int?rn?ti?n?l ???t?urism S??i?t? :
???t?urism –  is r?s??nsibl? tr?v?l t?
n?tur?l ?nd ?ultur?l ?r??s th?t ??ns?rv?s th? ?nvir?nm?nt ?nd sust?ins th?
w?ll-b?ing ?f l???l ????l? ?nd inv?lv?s int?r?r?t?ti?n ?nd ?du??ti?n.  During ???t?urism ?v?r??n? n??ds t? b?
r?s??nsibl? ?s ? tr?v?ll?r ( TI?S, 2015). In addition, ecotourism should
satisfy several criteria such as conservation of biological even cultural
diversities through ecosystem protection, increasing of sustainable use of
biodiversity with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern
(Site Suitability evaluation for ecotourism using GIS&AHP). Geographic
Information System (GIS) used for identifying location suitability and resource
inventories according to environmental concern. To identify untouched, fragile areas
GIS can play an important role. GIS can be used in tourism as a decision
supporting tool for sustainable tourism planning, impact assessment, visitor
flow management, and tourism site selection. Therefore, the potential for GIS
applications in tourism is necessary. It can also be used to determine the best
site for a newly built tourist destination. The application of GIS is limited
in tourism but recently it has been used for park management, facility
monitoring, visual resource assessment, and identifying suitable areas for
developing tourism activities.

    Moreover, by using this technology it is
also possible to service management, visitor flow management, facility
inventory and resource use management and assessing impacts of tourism
development (Azizur Rahman, Application of GIS in ecotourism development. A
case study in Sundurban, Bangladesh, 2010).

 

Methodology

During this
r?s??r?h n???ss?r? lit?r?tur? w?s r?vi?w?d ?b?ut ecotourism, ?s???i?ll?
application of GIS on ecotourism, also the importance of GIS on ecotourism, and
area were explored. ?ft?r r??ding s?m? inf?rm?ti?n from related books, research
focused on only Gadabay region of Azerbaijan. The number of tourists (local
tourists, even foreign), how many people visit to Gadabay was explored. To
obtain this information had been contacted with State Statistical Committee. ?ft?r
collected all necessary data, all of them w?r? ?n?l?z?d and all inf?rm?ti?n w?s
?ut t?g?th?r ?nd compared th? findings.

 

GIS application in ecotourism and ecotourism
planning

The application of GIS in tourism research has been minimal though
GIS technology has been discussed in the tourism literature for over a decade
(Gunn and Larsen, 1988). This technology has been used in tourism research
including that which relates to ecotourism planning, visual resource assessment
and management, recreation and park management, facility monitoring, suitable
location identification. Additionally and recently, researchers have begun
using GIS in a limited fashion in applications relating to tourism marketing.
The benefit of using GIS in tourism is that GIS has the ability to manipulate
both data, spatial and attributes. (Azizur Rahman, Application of GIS in
ecotourism, 2010)

GIS can be used to provide a more holistic approach towards
problem solving in which qualitative and quantitative information has to be
processed. This technology is used for collecting spatial information, storage,
analysis, and display of results in the form of graphs or maps which are more
effective to be understood by users. It is also used to promote participation
at decision-making level. An integration of  GIS can also play an important role on
ecotourism planning because this technology is considered to act as effective
tools for storing, manipulating and analyzing important variety of
spatial data. More specifically, ‘GIS can be used to map out land covers and
habitats’ ‘monitor landscape changes’ ‘model species distribution’ and ‘predict
suitable habitats for different species’ (Fung & Wong, 2007, P. 88).

Points, lines and polygons are 3 necessary elements which are used
to represent spatial information and these three terms are often used in GIS to
represent spatial data. In tourism area GIS is used to characterize tourism
destinations by using points, lines and polygons especially different
landscape. Point features represent individual tourist attractions, for ex., a
campground in a park, or a historic site along the highway. Coastal beaches and
resorts often follow a linear pattern, while big theme parks or natural parks
are characteristics of a polygon feature (Giles, 2003).

Site
selection, is also an important use of GIS in tourism planning. For instance,
by using suitable location identification tools and topology it is simply
possible to identify potential areas for further tourism development. These
tools are also used to define conservation and
recreation areas, facility monitoring, and visitor management and so on. Best
locations have been determined according to engineering, aesthetics, and
environmental constraints. GIS was used for inventory mapping, buffering
(identifying areas of human intrusion) and overlays mapping (Bahaire &
White, 1999, p. 163). Ecotourism development is a very sensitive issue in a
particular destination in terms of complex ecosystem and local population
habits. To determine untouched areas GIS can play an important role.

 

Study
area description and statistic information of Gadabay

Gadabay is located in Azerbaijan, its geographical
coordinates are 40° 33′ 56″ North, 45° 48′ 58″ East.

 According to the
census of the population the number of population in Gadabay is 99 thousands
200 hundreds in 2017. The most highest heights
are: Goshabulag (3549 m), Godzhadagh (2217 m) and Garaarkhadzh (3549). 
Gadabay rayon is also famous for its mineral waters, such as
“Narzan”, “Mor-Mor”, “Chaldash”, “Turshsu” and “Soyudlu narzani” (in Soyudlu
village).

 

  2011

   2012

   2013

  2014

  2015

  2016

 
3723

  
2976

  
1981

 
1344

 
2173

 
1277

 

Table 1. Number of overnights
of country citizens in hotels and similar establisments in Gadabay

Source : Azerbaijan
State Statistical Comitteee

 

   2011

  2012

  2013

  2014

   2015

  2016

    373

 
447

  
210

  
139

   
106

   
54

 

Table 2. Number of ovenights of foreigners
and stateless persons in hotels and similar establishments in Gadabay

Source : Azerbaijan State Statistical
Committee 

 

It is clear that from the compare of tables number
of Azerbaijan citizens who travel to Gadabay is more than foreign. Even, it can
be seen from the Table 1. number of overnights of country citizens and also
foreign, stateless persons have decreased year-by-year.

 

As we know, tourists
travel for different purposes. Some of them travel for business, some of them
for recreation, hunting and so on. Azerbaijan State Statistical Committee has explored
it, below you can see this information as table format :

 

By purpose

2011

     2012

   2013

    2014

  2015

  2016

Tourism purpose

    157

    29

      –

      –

     –

    –

Leisure, recreation

     90

     29

      –

      –

     –

    –

Business tourism

     67

      –

      –

      –

     –

    –

Treatment tourism

       –

      –

      –

      –

     –

    –

Other purpose

    659

   1360

1012

    723

  1338

  722

 

Table 3. Number of accommodated persons by purpose of
travel in Gadabay (person)

Source : Azerbaijan State Statistical Committee

 

By purpose

   2011

     2012

    2013

    2014

   2015

  2016

Tourism purpose

   1042

      244

    9976

     509

   2113

   137

Leisure, recreation

    460

      203

    9765

     385

   2055

   107

Business tourism

    355

      19

      96

      27

    58

    28

Treatment tourism

    218

       1

       –

       –

     –

     –

Other purpose

    245

     244

    250

     122

   365

   226

 

Table 4. Number of
Azerbaijan citizens accommodated in hotels and similar establishments by
purpose of travel in Gadabay

 

Source : Azerbaijan
State Statictical Committee

 

If last 2 tables were compared with each-other it can be seen the local
tourists prefer to foreign who travel to Gadabay for different purposes.
Year-by-year the number of tourists has decreased. It was considered that the
main reason of decreasing is that Gadabay is far away from Baku. Foreign
tourist come to Baku airport when they visit to Azerbaijan and there are a long
distance between Baku and Gadabay. That’s why they only visit Baku and regions
which is near Baku, like Quba, Qusar, Shamakhi and etc.

Actualy, there are a lot of forests, historical monuments, springs which
is provide to development of mass and alternative tourism. If government
support to developing tourism routes to this area and
enlighten about ecotourism potensial, touristic places around the country
citizen and foreign tourists this time tourism can develop in this region.
Because, there are enough potensial for increasing tourism.

 

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References :

 

1.     
Md.
Azizur Rahman , (2010). Application of
GIS in Ecotourism Development. A case
study of Sundurban, Bangladesh.

2.     
Khwanruthai
Bunruamkaew, Yuhi Murayama, (2011). Site
Suitability Evaluation for Ecotourism Using GIS&AHP .

3.     
Guan
Hai-ling, Wu-Liang-qiang, Luo-yong-peng , (2011). A GIS based approach for information management in ecotourism region .

4.      Gunn,
Larsen, (1988). Tourism potential – Aided
by computer Cartography .

5.      F?nn?l.D, (2007). ???t?urism. 3rd ?d. N?w
??rk,L?nd?n : T??l?r&Fr?n?is ?-libr?r?, ? 282,?-b??k.   

Us?d link
:  htt?://b??kzz.?rg/b??k/970705/?fbd2f

6.      J?nnif?r H,G?l? T, (2009). ???t?urism ?nd ?nvir?nm?nt?l sust?in?bilit?.UK:Univ?rsit?
?f th? W?st ?f ?ngl?nd, ? 260, ?-b??k.

Us?d link : htt?://b??kzz.?rg/b??k/824422/?83855

7.      Sust?in?bl? t?urism.

Us?d link:htt?://www.un?s??.?rg/?du??ti?n/tlsf/m?ds/th?m?_?/m?d16.html

8.      Sust?in?bl? ???t?urism.

 Us?d link : htt?://m?rin?bi?.?rg/????ns/??ns?rv?ti?n/sust?in?bl?-t?urism/

9.      Catalogue of
Statistical Publications.

Used link : https://www.stat.gov.az/menu/6/catalogue_st_p/catalogue_2017.pdf

 

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