Does geosite interpretation lead to conservation? A case study of the Sićevo Gorge (Serbia)

Keywords: geoheritage, interpretation, gorges, Sićevo, Serbia


People have appreciated the beauty of natural landscapes, the result of the interplay of different natural processes, for at least three hundred years in Europe. Many have been inspired by this beauty to promote such places for visits by others. Some have understood the importance of individual places visited within the local or regional environmental system. This has led to definitions and the establishment of protected areas with special visitor rules and regulations. This article presents a case study of Sićevo Gorge Nature Park in Serbia and an opportunity to transform it into a geoheritage site, underpinned by developing its interpretation based on the results of a study using the analytical-hierarchy process (AHP) method.


Download data is not yet available.


Ballantyne, R. 1998: Interpreting 'visions': addressing environmental education goals through interpretation. Contemporary Issues in Heritage and Environmental Interpretation: Problems and Prospects. Norwich.

Began, M. 2019: Problemi konzervacije i mogućnosti interpretacije geodiverziteta kanjona i klisura jugoistočne Srbije. Ph.D. thesis. University of Novi Sad. Novi Sad.

Began, M., Višnić, T., Djokić, M., Vasiljević, Dj. A. 2016: Interpretation possibilities of geoheritage in Southeastern Serbia – gorge and canyon study. Geoheritage 9. DOI:

Božić, S., Kennell, J., Vujičić, M. D., Jovanović, T. 2017: Urban tourist motivations: why visit Ljubljana? International Journal of Tourism Cities 4-3. DOI:

Božić, S., Vujičić, M. D., Kennell, J., Besermenji, S., Solarević, M. 2018: Sun, sea and shrines: application of analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to assess the attractiveness of six cultural heritage sites in Phuket: Thailand. Geographica Pannonica 22-4. DOI:

Brushan, N., Rai, K. 2004: Strategic decision making – applying the analytic hierarchy process. New York.

César, P. A. B., Stigliano, B., Raimundo, S., Nucci, J. C. 2007: Ecoturismo – Caminhos do Futuro. São Paulo.

Cheng, E. W. L., Li, H. 2002: Construction partnering process and associated critical success factors: quantitative investigation. Journal of Management in Engineering 18-4. DOI:

Cheng, E. W. L., Li, H., Ho, D. C. 2002: Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) a defective tool when used improperly. Measuring Business Excellence 6-4. DOI:

Ćirić, J. 2006: Gradište – hronika sela. Niš.

Coyne, I. T. 1997: Sampling in qualitative research. Purposeful and theoretical sampling; merging or clear boundaries? Journal of Advanced Nursing 26-3. DOI:

Creswell, J. W. 2007: Qualitative inquiry and research design. Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks.

Cvetković, N. J., Dimitrijević, V. M. 2014: Cave bears (Carnivora, Ursidae) from the Middle and Late Pleistocene of Serbia: a revision. Quaternary International 339-340. DOI:

Ham, S. H. 1992: Environmental interpretation - A practical guide for people with big ideas and small budgets. Orlando.

Harker, P. T., Vargas, L. G. 1987: The theory of ratio scale estimation: Saaty’s analytic hierarchy process. Management Science 33-11. DOI:

Henriques, M. H., dos Reis, R. P., Brilha, J., Mota, T. 2011: Geoconservation as an emerging geoscience. Geoheritage 3. DOI:

Hose, T. A. 1995: Selling the story of Britain's stone. Environmental Interpretation 10-2.

Hose, T. A. 1997: Geotourism – selling the Earth to Europe. Engineering Geology and the Environment. Rotterdam.

Hose, T. A. 2000: European Geotourism – geological interpretation and geoconservation promotion for tourists. Geological Heritage: Its Conservation and Management. Madrid.

Hose, T. A. 2011: The English origins of geotourism (as a vehicle for geoconservation) and their relevance to current studies. Acta geographica Slovenica 51-2. DOI:

Hose, T. A. 2016: Three centuries (1670–1970) of appreciating physical landscapes. Appreciating Physical Landscapes: Three Hundred Years of Geotourism. London. DOI:

Hose, T. A., Marković, S. B., Komac, B., Zorn, M. 2011: Geotourism – a short introduction. Acta geographica Slovenica. 51-2. DOI:

Hsu, T. K., Tsai, Y. F., Wu, H. H. 2009: The preference analysis for tourist choice of destination: a case study of Taiwan. Tourism Management 30-2. DOI:

Jandrić, Z., Srđević, B. 2000: Analitički hijerarhijski proces kao podrška donošenju odluka u vodoprovredi. Vodoprivreda 32.

Jovanović, Dj. 1891: Sićevačka klisura, pećine, dupke i potkapine. Beograd.

Komac, B., Zorn, M. and Erhartič, B. 2011: Loss of natural heritage from the geomorphological perspective – do geomorphic processes shape or destroy the natural heritage? Acta geographica Slovenica 51-2, DOI:

Kostić, M. 1954: Fizičko-geografske i privredno-geografske odlike sliva Jelašničke reke. Zbornik radova Geografskog zavoda Prorodno-matematičkog fakulteta Univerziteta u Beogradu 1.

Kostić, M., Martinović, Ž. 1967: Ostrovičke terme – prilog proučavanju termalnih izvora Srbije. Zbornik radova Geografskog instituta Jovan Cvijić, 21.

Krumin, S. 2006: Sićevski kolopleti. Niš.

Lam, K., Zhao, X. 1998: An application of quality function deployment to improve the quality of teaching. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management 15-4. DOI:

Larwood, J. 2016: Geoconservation: an introduction to European principles and practices. Geoheritage and Geotourism. A European Perspective. Woodbridge.

Making tourism more sustainable: a guide for policy-makers. UNEP and UNWTO. Madrid, Paris, 2005.

Mastrini, V., Bonomi, S., Hulubei, D., Mihnevici, L., Toporascu, L., Sa, F., Mor, A., Phanor, D., Antonopoulos, P., Kotsoni, A., Archimandritis, G. Debonis, E. 2018: Study on ecotourism development. Brussels. Internet: (13. 12. 2020).

Mitić, D. 2006: Srednje Ponišavlje: osnove strategije zaštite prirodnih i stvorenih vrednosti. Niš.

Moreira, J. C. 2012: Interpretative panels about the geological heritage – a case study at the Iguassu Falls National Park (Brazil). Geoheritage 4. DOI:

Murta, S. M., Albano, C. 2005: Interpretar o Patrimônio: um exercício do olhar. Belo Horizonte.

National Geographic Srbija 2016: Sićevo, srpska Kapadokija. Internet: (06. 12. 2016).

Nunes, M. L. 1991: Interpretação da natureza. Paper para o Mestrado em Engenharia Florestal. Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba.

Petrović, M. D., Vasiljević, Dj. A., Vujičić, M. D., Hose, T. A., Marković, S. B., Lukić, T. 2013: Global geopark and candidate – Comparative analysis of Papuk Mountain Geopark (Croatia) and Fruska Gora Mountain (Serbia) by using GAM model. Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 8-1.

Pierssene, A. 1999: Explaining our world: an approach to the art of environmental interpretation. London.

Roksandić, M., Mihailović, D., Mercier, N., Dimitrijević, V., Morley, M. W., Rakočević, Z., Mihailović, B., Guibert, P., Babb, J. 2011: A human mandible (BH-1) from the Pleistocene deposits of Mala Balanica cave (Sićevo Gorge, Nis, Serbia). Journal of Human Evolution 61-2. DOI:

Saaty, T. L. 1980: The Analytic Hierarchy Process. New York.

Scholl, A., Manthey, L., Helm, R., Steiner, M. 2005: Solving multi attribute design problems with analytic hierarchy process and conjoint analysis: an empirical comparison. European Journal of Operational Research 164-3. DOI:

Stankov, U., Vasiljević, Ð., Jovanović, V., Kranjac, M., Vujičić, M. D., Morar, C., Bucur, L. 2019: Shared aerial drone videos–prospects and problems for volunteered geographic information research. Open Geosciences 11-1. DOI:

Štrba, Ľ., Baláž, B., Lukáč, M. 2016: Roadside geotourism – An alternative approach to geotourism. e-Review of Tourism Research 13-5,6.

Theodossiou-Drandaki, I, 2000: No conservation without education. Geological Heritage: Its Conservation and Management. Madrid.

Tilden, F. 1977: Interpreting our heritage. Chapel Hill.

Tourism and recreation research unit, 1983: Recreation site survey manual: methods and techniques for conducting visitor surveys. London.

Vasconcelos, J. 2003: Interpretação ambiental. Manual de ecoturismo de base comunitária. Brasília.

Vasiljević, D. A., Marković, S. B., Vujičić, M. D. 2016: Appreciating loess landscapes through history: the basis of modern loess geotourism in the Vojvodina region of North Serbia. Appreciating Physical Landscapes: Three Hundred Years of Geotourism. London. DOI:

Vasiljević, Dj. A., Marković, S. B., Hose, T. A., Smalley, I., O’Hara-Dhand, K., Basarin, B., Lukić, T., Vujičić, M. D. 2011: Loess towards (geo)tourism – proposed application on loess in Vojvodina region (north Serbia). Acta geographica Slovenica. 51-3. DOI:

Višnić, T., Spasojević, B., Vujičić, M. 2016: The potential for geotourism development on the Srem Loess Plateau based on a preliminary geosite assessment model (GAM). Geoheritage 8. DOI:

Vujičić, M. D, Stamenković, I., Stankov, U., Kovačić, S., Vasiljević Đ. A, Popov Locke, J. 2020: What will prevail within city break travel, motivation or demotivation? Case study of Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia. Geographica Pannonica 24-1. DOI:

Vujičić, M. D, Vasiljević D. A., Hose T. A., Tasić N., Morar, C., Ðurić, A., Marković S. B. 2018: A multi-criteria decision analysis with special reference to loess and archaeological sites in Serbia. Open Geoscience 10-1. DOI:

Vujičić, M. D., Vasiljević, Dj. A., Marković, S. B., Hose, T. A., 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. DOI:

Werner, J. P. 1996: La interpretación: un método dinámico para promover el uso social del patrimonio cultural y natural. Difusión del patrimonio histórico 19-9.

Wong, J. K. W., Li, H. 2008: Application of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) in multi-criteria analysis of the selection of intelligent building systems. Building and Environment 43-1. DOI:

Xu, K., Neto de Carvalho, C., Li, Z., Cui, Z., Yu, G. 2015: Tianzhushan global geopark: new ideas for interpreting geoheritage. European Geoparks Conference 2015. Rokua.

How to Cite
Vasiljević Đorđije, Began M, Vujičić M, Hose T, Uglješa. Does geosite interpretation lead to conservation? A case study of the Sićevo Gorge (Serbia). AGS [Internet]. 2021Oct.27 [cited 2021Nov.30];61(2):7-21. Available from: