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Article Title :

Identification of Preferable Ecotourism Destinations in Purulia District, West Bengal (India): AHP and GIS Approach

6 (2022)

2

73-93

Suitability , Purulia , GIS , ecotourism , AHP

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Ecotourism has gained popularity among travelers in recent years due to the detrimental effects of conventional tourism. Purulia district in West Bengal (India), with its diversified picturesque landscape such as lush green forest, mesmerizing riverscape, lakes, waterfall, hills and uniqueness in the local community’s culture gives ample potentiality of ecotourism development. The aim of this paper to explore potentiality of ecotourism in Purulia district, West Bengal, India using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Geographical Information System (GIS). Initially, ecotourism inventory dataset was developed based on following criteria: Elevation, slope, proximity to river, distance from road, distance from settlements, distance from ecological sites, distance from railway, distance from tourism sites using ARC-GIS 10.6.1 software. Later, the suitability map of ecotourism development has been developed by applying Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) with combination of the criteria with their respective weights and categorized into five suitability classes as highly suitable (S1), moderately suitable (S2), suitable (S3), less suitable (S4) and unsuitable (S5). Finally, after the identification of suitable zones, six alternatives ecotourism destinations are identified. This proposed method may be helpful for the local stakeholders and public administration in identifying potential ecotourism destination and planning for sustainable ecotourism development.

The conventional way of tourism harmed the environment by destructing nature and natural landscape.

Purulia district shows diversified picturesque landscape such as lush green forest, mesmerizing riverscape, lakes, waterfall, etc.

This paper explores the potentiality of ecotourism in the Purulia district using AHP and GIS.

The suitability map of ecotourism developed and categorized into five suitability classes: highly suitable, moderately suitable, suitable, less suitable and unsuitable.

This study may be helpful for the policymaker and public administration for planning sustainable eco-tourism development.

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