DOI: 10.1515/geo-2022-0589 ISSN: 2391-5447

Assessment of geosites as a basis for geotourism development: A case study of the Toplica District, Serbia

Marko Ivanović, Tin Lukić, Nikola Milentijević, Vojkan Bojović, Aleksandar Valjarević
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


Toplica district represents an area in Southern Serbia with significant forms of geoheritage that have not been valorized yet. The aim of this pioneering study is to systematically analyze and evaluate all manifestations of the geodiversity in the Toplica district. Based on the geological importance, degree of attractiveness, and size, a total of six geosites were selected. The main goal of the study is to emphasize the insufficient utilization of huge geotourism potentials of the Toplica district and to determine the current geotourism development and geotourism potential of evaluated geosites. The geotourism suitability of each geosite is defined through comparative analysis. The Geosite Assessment Model (GAM) is used to assess the current state of the various elements of geodiversity in the study area. Positioning within the GAM matrix is defined by the values of the investigated parameters. Visualization of the distribution of the GAM indicators is an innovative approach for the interpretation of the obtained results. As a projection of the geotourism potential, the study presents the results of the traffic accessibility of geosites using the Geographic Information System (GIS)-based isochronous method. GIS and Digital Terrain Models are used in the visualization of the research area. The results of GAM apostrophize the current tourist value of Devil’s City, while the isochron analysis of GIS highlights the great geotourism potential of publicly little-known and touristically unaffirmed geosites. The results represent a basis that can support the affirmation of geotourism, the improvement of existing, and the development of new geotourism strategies in the Toplica district.

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