A fuzzy multi-criteria approach to sustainable island-based tourism development

Document Type : Article


1 Department of Civil Engineering and UNESCO Chair in Water and Environment Management for Sustainable Cities, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, International Campus in Kish, Iran

3 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


This paper aims to propose a framework by which decision-makers can evaluate and compare alternatives for sustainable island-based tourism development. The uncertainties and risks involved in information and judgment within the evaluation process are taken into account by using a hybrid approach, which combines the Delphi method, fuzzy set theory, and a discrete multi-criteria method based on prospect theory called TODIM (an acronym in Portuguese of interactive and multiple criteria decision making). The decision making model examines three different techniques of aggregating the viewpoints of different decision-makers and explores how the aggregation technique affects the ranking of the alternatives. To demonstrate the potential application of the proposed approach, it is examined for development of Hendourabi Island (Iran) for tourism. Results show that among the three development alternative plans, decision-makers prefer the medium-size development alternative, since it offers a balance between benefits of tourism market and costs of project development under an uncertain future. It also allows for adaptive management. Results also showed that the proposed approach which reduces loss regret in decision-making under uncertain future can be used effectively for planning the island development under an uncertain dynamic future considering the risk and uncertainty associated with human judgment.


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