People’s Participation and Rural Development in Solgi District of Nahavand County



Extended Abstract
Today tourism has become an important socio-economic fact in all environments like cities, villages, beaches and mountainous areas. Indeed the presence of tourists and its growth in any region can be a source of changes in regions where the tourists are welcomed and hosted. Among the changes that can be resulted from tourism, spatial ones can be mentioned. In this research it is tried to examine one of the main dimensions of tourism called trade tourism, and its impact on urban areas. To find an answer to this question of whether it can have an impactful role in physic-spatial changes of the cities, Baneh City in Kordestan province of Iran has been selected as a case-study of this research. The reason for choosing this city as a case was due to its spatio-locational situation and domination of economy based upon trade and informal exchanges of goods (smuggling) in the region and the physic-spatial implications on the city. Owing to far low prices of imported goods, low purchasing power of the people, high prices of rival home-grown products, and consumerism, the real demand for these products which are informally imported has been increasing. This has in turn encouraged the people from all over the country to travel to the region for purchasing purposes. Through increasing number of travelers to the city from 25000 in 2005 to 568000 in 2007 and more prosperity of the imported products in the city, a new form of tourism which can be called trade tourism has been developed. In this type of tourism the main goal of the people to travel to the city is simply purching. To measure the impact of such form of tourism on physic-spatial development of the city, statistics and figures were required that through some field work, documentary study and finally filling out questionnaire were supplied. Statistical populations of the research have been among the urban experts and the residents of newly-built neighborhoods. On this basis, as well as based on the differences between the two statistical populations the need for designing two questionnaires for the research hypotheses were recognized. The reason for choosing newly-built neighborhoods was finding a relationship between tourism and accommodation of new entrants to the city in these neighborhoods, their sort of occupations and finally examining this question of whether tourism has been effective in absorbing the people to the city to deal with their affairs or not. Due to lack of statistics on employment and exact number of employed people in tourism sector, it is tried to find the rate of employed number of people in the sector through sampling and then reaching to a time for constructing new neighborhoods in the city as well. It is worth mentioning that the data collection process was not just through questionnaire but part of that has come from municipality’s land use and master plan and the rest by tourism administration of the city. Hence two types of analyses were needed to analyze the research hypotheses. The first was through library method and the second was through statistical methods like T-test, Binominal, and Sign. Based upon the analyses and testing the research hypotheses, it can be said that trade tourism in Baneh, although affected by informal economy, but has had a great and considerable physic-spatial impact on the city. The point is that it might be generalized to other similar cities. In other words, tourism for this city has become an impactful physic-spatial parameter which in turn had a great impact on the landscape, general feature and the economy of the city which can be considered as a new and impressive chapter in the change process and development history of the city. It is obvious that this trend because of its nature of activities (informality of the economy) which has undeniably affected the development of the city if institutionalized, could be a threat for the future trends which needs more attention of the policy- makers.