Determination of suitable zones for apitourism using multi-criteria evaluation in geographic information systems: a case study in the O'Higgins Region, Chile
Abstract Beekeeping, which involves honey production and pollination of agricultural crops, has become a significant production activity. Linking beekeeping with ecotourism brings greater value to the beekeeping sector, thereby attracting the development of apitourism. Multi-criteria decision analysis is a set of techniques developed through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) focused on spatial decision making, which can be used to link beekeeping and tourism for the development of priority sites for shared activity. This work is based on the definition and weighting of factors used for evaluation of apitourism suitability in Chile, considering the opinion of beekeepers and professionals associated with the sector. The result is a map of apitouristic suitability that includes vegetation, tourism, precipitation, temperature, roads, rivers and genetically modified crops (GM crops), as well as three restrictions: soil use, highways and wild areas protected by the state. The model allowed the localization of priority sites for resources and efforts pertaining to the development of apitourism.