Due to the rapidly increasing urbanization and industrialization of societies ecotourism need for communities to be felt more than ever, Ecotourism typically occur in areas rich in natural terms and lack of planning and strategy for tourism is leading to environmental degradation. Kasilian region was chosen as study area because is a mountainous and forested area that located in Mazandaran, the most touristic province of Iran,. The purpose of this research is developing strategies for ecotourism management and evaluating the strategies. for achieve to objectives of research at first external and internal environment evaluated with SWOT method, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the region were identified and located in IFE & EFE matrix. In this regard, internal and external factors gained 2.9 and 2.6 scores, this indicates that weaknesses are more effective than strengths and it also shows that opportunities are more than threats. Subsequently 39 strategies were developed following previous stage for ecotourism management of the region (SO, WO, ST, WT strategies). SPACE method was used to assess the situation of the strategies give result that Strategies were included in the “Invasive” class. After this step in the QSPM matrix strategies were rated on 4-point strategy priority groups. Result of present investigation emphasis on positive effect of planning and developing ecotourism strategies on increasing ecotourism activities in the region and reducing the adverse effects on the environment. The most important strategies include development of sustainable ecotourism management plans in the region and managing the eco-tourists in small groups.
ecotourism; SWOT method; QSPM matrix; SPACE matrix; evaluation;