1,*, K. Shayesteh2, A. Ghasemi3, H. Mohammadi4
SWOT analysis is used extensively as an assessment and planning method, particularly in tourism planning. However, there are little documentations on application of SWOT analysis in ecotourism. An assessment on systematic use of SWOT analysis was carried out in the present study to highlight the applicability of the SWOT technique in detailed investigations. In this study, based on field surveys and questionnaires (on Anzali Wetland and the local population), matrix of internal and external factors (threats, opportunities, weaknesses and strength) influencing tourism development in Anzali Wetland were evaluated within the framework of SWOT analysis and SO, WO, ST and WT strategies were identified. Based on the obtained results, the total score of 3.22 in IFE matrix suggests good condition of the system and high internal strength of the tourism development related to internal factors and the final score of 2.93 in the EFE matrix represents poor condition related to the external factors which means external factors have not been utilized properly; Thus appropriate planning and organizational management practices are required to deal with these factors. The study further proposes solutions, operational priorities and strategic planning according to environmental and local conditions of Anzali Wetland. Since the tourism industry in Iran is still in its early stages, particularly in Anzali Wetland region, the findings could help decision makers to estimate better the weaknesses, strengths, threats and opportunities, and to develop tourism industry in the region.