skip to main content
Original Article

Evaluation of Geotourism for Gonabad Qasabeh Qanat: Potentials and capabilities



This paper aims to evaluate the geotourism potential of Gonabad Qasabeh qanat as a hydrogeological and cultural-geological site in terms of geotourism, and examine the weak points, and provide solutions. The GAM evaluation model has been used to provide an evaluation based on the main values ​​(scientific-educational, scenic-aesthetic, and protection) and additional values ​​(functional and tourism). A survey was taken from 141 people, tourists and local people, combined with library studies and field visits, and scores were scientific-educational values, 3.75 out of 4; scenic/aesthetic, 2.25 out of 4; protection 3.25 out of 4; functional, 3.75 out of 6; and tourism 5.5 out of 9. The main values ​​have a score of 9.25 out of 12, and the additional values ​9.25 out of 15. The GAM evaluation places the Gonabad Qasabeh qanat at the Z32 level, meaning the site has very high potential main values. Additional values have a medium level. This locality requires the attention of city and country officials and managers to improve access and increase advertising levels. Gonabad Qasabeh Qanat can sustain urban development in its native region.

Read the full text of the article


Main Subjects


Aldebert B, Dang RJ & Longhi C (2011). Innovation in the tourism industry: The case of Tourism. Tourism Management. 32: 1204–1213.
Aminian A (2012). Environmental performance measurement of tourism accommodations in the pilgrimage urban areas: The case of the Holy City of Mashhad, Iran. Procedia–Social and Behavioral Sciences. 35: 514–522.
Beigi H & Pakzad P (2010). Investigating geotourism capabilities of the Gavkhoni wetland according to the SWOT model. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment. 139: 169–179
Buckley R (2011). Tourism and environment. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 36: 397–416.
Camilleri MA (2018). The tourism industry: An overview. In: Travel Marketing, Tourism Economics and the Airline Product. Cham, Switzerland: Springer-Nature, pp. 3–27.
Chylińska D & Kołodziejczyk K (2018). Geotourism in an urban space?. Open Geosciences. 10: 297–310.
Ebrahimi A, Mehraban Y, Omidvarborna H, Vakilinejad A, Al–Sayigh ARS (2021). Kariz (Ancient Aqueduct) system: a review on geoengineering and environmental studies. Environmental Earth Sciences. 80(6): 1–13.
Fassoulas C, Paragamian K & Iliopoulos G (2007). Identification and assessment of Cretan geotopes. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Greece. 40(4):1780–1795.
Gray M (2008). Geodiversity: developing the paradigm. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association. 119: 287–298.
Hassanpour M & Khozaymehnejad H (2017). Determination of suitable areas for artificial recharge to increase qanat discharge in Gonabad aquifer. Journal of Aquifer and Qanat 1(1): 13–25 (In Persian).
Herrera-Franco G, Erazo K, Mora-Frank C, Carrión-Mero P & Berrezueta E (2021). Evaluation of a paleontological museum as geosite and base for geotourism. A case study. Heritage. 4: 1208–1227.
Holden A (2008). Environment and Tourism. London; Taylor & Francis.
Hose TA, Marković SB, Komac B, Zorn M (2011). Geotourism–a short introduction. Acta Geographica Slovenica. 51: 339–342.
Kafashpor A, Ghasempour Ganji SF, Sadeghian S  & Johnson LW (2018). Perception of tourism development and subjective happiness of residents in Mashhad, Iran. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research. 23: 521–531.
Kubalíková L (2019). Assessing geotourism resources on a local level: A case study from Southern Moravia (Czech Republic). Resources 8(3): 150.
Kubalíková L, Drápela E, Kirchner K, Bajer A, Balková M & Kuda F (2021). Urban geotourism development and geoconservation: Is it possible to find a balance? Environmental Science & Policy. 121: 1–10.
Mirani Moghadam H, Karami G & Bagheri R (2020). Hydrogeological sssessment of the Gonabad Plain Qanats. Hydrogeology. 4(2): 34–47 (In Persian).
Mirani Moghadam H, Karami G H, Bagheri R, Barati R (2021). Death time estimation of water heritages in Gonabad Plain, Iran. Environmental Earth Sciences. 80(4): 1–10.
Modarres R, da Silva VDPR (2007). Rainfall trends in arid and semi–arid regions of Iran. Journal of Arid Environments. 70(2): 344–355.
Ólafsdóttir R (2019). Geotourism. Geosciences. 9(1): 48.
Pál M & Albert G (2018). Comparison of geotourism assessment models: and experiment in Bakony–Balaton UNSECO Global Geopark, Hungary. Acta Geoturistica, 9(2): 1–13.
Papli-Yazdi M, Labaf Khaniki R, Labaf Khaniki M, Jalali A & Vasouqi F (1999). The Gonabad Qasabeh Qanat is a myth. Khorasan Razavi Regional Water Authority Company (Mashhad) (In Persian).
Pereira P, Pereira D & Caetano Alves MI (2007). Geomorphosite assessment in Montesinho Natural Park (Portugal). Geographica Helvetica. 62(3): 159–168.
Petrović MD, Vasiljević DA, Vujičić MD, Hose TA, Marković SB, & Lukić T (2013). Global geopark and candidate–comparative analysis of Papuk Mountain geopark (Croatia) and Fruška Gora Mountain (Serbia) by using GAM model. Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences. 8(1): 105–116.   
Petrović MD, Lukić D, Radovanović MM, Blešić I, Gajić T, Demirović Bajrami D, Syromiatnikova JA, Miljković D, Kovačic´ S, & Kostić M (2023). How can tufa deposits contribute to the geotourism offer? The outcomes from the First UNESCO Global Geopark in Serbia. Land. 12(2): 285.
Pralong JP (2005). A method for assessing tourist potential and use of geomorphological sites. Géomorphologie: Relief, Processus, Environnement. 11(3): 189–196.
Reynard E & Lugon R (2004). The assessment of geocultural of geosites within the geosite inventory of Canton Valais (Switzerland). Abstract, 32nd IGC – Florence. 86–94.
Reynard E (2008). Scientific research and tourist promotion of geomorphological heritage. Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria. 31: 225–230.
Szepesi J, Harangi S, Ésik Z, Novák TJ, Lukács R & Soós I (2017). Volcanic geoheritage and geotourism perspectives in Hungary: a case of an UNESCO world heritage site, Tokaj wine region historic cultural landscape, Hungary. Geoheritage. 9: 329–349.
Taghavi-Jeloudar M, Han M, Davoudi M & Kim M (2013). Review of ancient wisdom of Qanat, and suggestions for future water management. Environmental Engineering Research. 18(2): 57–63.
Tomić N, Marković S B, Antić A & Tešić D (2020). Exploring the potential for geotourism development in the Danube region of Serbia. International Journal of Geoheritage and Parks. 8: 123–139.
Turner–Carrión M, Carrión–Mero P, Turner–Salamea I, Morante–Carballo F, Aguilar–Aguilar M, Zambrano–Ruiz K & Berrezueta E (2021). A mineralogical museum as a geotourism attraction: A case study. Minerals. 11(6): 582.
Vujičić MD, Vasiljević DA, Marković SB, Hose TA, Lukić T, Hadžić O & Janićević S (2011). Preliminary geosite assessment model (GAM) and its application on Fruška Gora Mountain, potential geotourism destination of Serbia. Acta Geographica Slovenica. 51(2): 361–376.
Weaver D B (2001). Ecotourism as mass tourism: Contradiction or reality?. Cornell hotel and restaurant administration quarterly. 42(2): 104–112.