pp 1–16 | Cite as

Geotourism Development in World Heritage of the Lut Desert

  • Mehran MaghsoudiEmail author
  • Anvar Moradi
  • Fatemeh Moradipour
  • Mohammad Ali Nezammahalleh
Original Article


Geotourism implicitly implies geologic and geomorphologic characteristics as the base for tourism/recreation activities and geographic situations. The Lut desert and its environmental system have many potential and outstanding universal values including the highest and longest yardangs (kaluts) and very high sand dunes and nebkhas. It is necessary to explore and introduce internationally the values of the Lut desert. In this research, we have initially listed tourism attractions of the Lut desert. Subsequently, their scientific, educational, and tourism value, and degradation risks have been evaluated by Brilha (2016) method. The suitable areas for geotourism development have been determined by the fuzzy AHP method and the optimal areas have also been selected and surveyed based on an assessment of geosites. The results of the geosite evaluation of the Lut desert indicate that the geosites of Shur River, mega-yardangs (kaluts), linear dunes, basalt plateau of Gandom Beryan, and the dreamy city of the Lut (Shahr-e Khialy-ye Lut) have the highest values for geotourism. The results of zonation by fuzzy AHP have also indicated that west, northeast, and southeast parts of the Lut have more suitable conditions for geotourism development. Finally, through the integration of the assessments and zoning of suitable areas for geotourism development with a field survey in a new approach, we have selected eight suitable areas for the geotourism development in the Lut desert.


Geotourism Geosite Quantitative assessment Fuzzy AHP Lut Desert 



We are grateful to José Brilha, for very useful comments on the manuscript. We are also thankful to the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, University of Tehran, and Base of the Lut Desert World Heritage.


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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of GeographyUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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