GIS and Remote Sensing Based Ecotourism Suitability Analysis: The Case of Wondo Genet Woreda, Sidama, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The main objective of the study is to identify the potential ecotourism sites in Wondo Genet, Sidama, Ethiopia by using GIS, RS and AHP. Currently, despite the blessing of many ecotourism resources in Wondo Genet Woreda only Shebelle resort is frequented and stagnated by mass tourism activities. In addition, human induced factors are grappling the ecotourism resources in Wondo Genet. Therefore, this thesis is aimed to assess ecotourism resources and its capability based on six factors such as: land use land cover, species diversity, slope, elevation, rainfall and temperature. These factors were selected according to the local ecotourism guides view, professional expert’s from WGCF-NR, tourists’ opinions and field survey. Firstly, a resource inventory and a list of ecotourism criteria were developed using the AHP to determine the relative importance of all selected factors. Then GIS tools were used to measure the ranking of classes, to identify the highly potential areas based on the set criteria. Finally, the ecotourism potential suitability map was made-up, using the linear combination of factors with their respective weights. The degree of suitability of each parameter was classified as highly potential, moderately potential, less potential and not suitable for ecotourism. Subsequently, the result showed highly suitable for ecotourism potential area accounts for 10.86% (2438.86 ha), moderately suitable accounts 14.23% (3194.68 ha), less potential areas 68.89 % (15467.45 ha) and 6.02 % (1351.50 ha) no potential area in Wondo Genet province and its vicinity. Generally, as part of ecotourism niche package Wondo Genet has a potential for wildlife tourism, gastronomy tourism, agrotourism, spa and health tourism, cultural and educational tourism. More specifically, Wondo Genet area can provide ecotourism activities like: ballooning, bungee/ bungy jumping, mountain trekking, mountain biking, rafting, camping, photographing and videographing, picnicking, birding, fishing, swimming, and cultural tripping and many other venturer activities. The study also revealed some threats that encountered ecotourism development in Wondo Genet like: deforestation, human wildlife conflict and infrastructure and service limitation are some of the hindering factors in the study area. In general, the study was attempted to identify the major ecotourism potentials and its suitability and identify some hindering factors encountered in Wondo Genet province and vicinity for sustainable ecotourism development



Ecotourism, Agro-Ecotourism, RS & GIS