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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1144;

Using a VGI and GIS-Based Multicriteria Approach for Assessing the Potential of Rural Tourism in Extremadura (Spain)

Dpto. de Expresión Gráfica, Centro Universitario de Mérida, Universidad de Extremadura, 06800 Mérida, Spain
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra and INESC Coimbra, Apartado 3008, EC Santa Cruz, 3001-501 Coimbra, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: David Harvey and Marc A. Rosen
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 November 2016 / Published: 7 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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Extremadura (Spain), being one of the less-developed EU regions, is also eligible for European funds, including those related with the development of tourism activities in rural areas. To assess the spatial distribution of rural tourism potential (RTP), a methodological approach was followed by combining the synergetic use of geographic information systems (GIS) and the analytical hierarchical process (AHP). For the evaluation model, six factors were examined and hierarchized by a panel of eighteen experts: tourism accommodation offer, activities in natural areas, gastronomic offer, cultural activities, bath offer in natural environments, and activities in active tourism. These factors were then decomposed into thirty-two evaluation criteria and the relative importance of their weights was estimated using pairwise judgments. Using publicly available data and volunteered geographic information (VGI) platforms, the related spatial and non-spatial data were collected, collated, and standardized, employing appropriate tools developed with open-source GIS software. The results, represented by a series of intensity maps, indicate the RTP scores, highlight the strengths and weaknesses in each county, and could serve as a planning tool for public and/or private investments. View Full-Text
Keywords: VGI; GIS; AHP; rural tourism potential; Extremadura (Spain) VGI; GIS; AHP; rural tourism potential; Extremadura (Spain)

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González-Ramiro, A.; Gonçalves, G.; Sánchez-Ríos, A.; Jeong, J.S. Using a VGI and GIS-Based Multicriteria Approach for Assessing the Potential of Rural Tourism in Extremadura (Spain). Sustainability 2016, 8, 1144.

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