Document Type : Research Paper
Ph.D. Candidate in Geography & Urban Planning, University of Tehran
Prof. of Geography and Urban Planning, University of Tehran
Ph.D. Student, Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University
MA. in Geography and Tourism Planning, University of Tehran
Nowadays, tourism is considered as one of the effective factors in promotion of
communications among nations. It is presented as creator of job opportunities in the economic
section and social-cultural interactions. Cultural tourism can be characterized in two different
aspects. From the conceptual viewpoint, people move towards the cultural attractions far from
their current residential place to achieve new information and experiences for meeting their
cultural needs. In the terms of cultural tourism, human beings move towards some particular
cultural attractions such as places with historical heritage, cultural and aesthetics signs, arts and
plays out of their ordinary residential places. Both perspectives towards cultural tourism help a
better coexistence, continuity, stability, and safety.
Alamut is considered as one of the cultural and historical places in Iran. Customs, traditions,
race, manual industry, arts, and cultural and religious traditions have made this place a tourist
attraction. It is evident that this considerations and opportunities may have negative and
threatening effects as well as positive ones.
Not much time has passed since utilizing strategic planning and evolution in geography in
general and in urban as well as zone development in particular. This method is one of the public
tools for both internal environment analyses (Strengths and Weaknesses) and external
environment analyses (Opportunities and Threats), besides, it is a systematic approach which
can be helpful in decision making.
This is a descriptive-analytical study with quantitative tool. In order to collect and arrange
such factors various types of resources were used as follows: A library, documental approach,
published articles and papers concerning the cultural tourism, direct observation and survey,
field research, interview and providing questionnaire using Delphi method and considering the
opinions of experts of Qazvin Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization and
Alamut Cultural Heritage and Tourism Database, and academic experts.
In collecting questionnaires, the participants have been divided into two different levels. In
this stage, the snowball technique has been applied to determine the sample volume.
− Group A: The opinions of this group have been collected using 14 questionnaires; the
participants are as follows: The president and managers and experts in Qazvin CHHTO
and Alamut CHTD.
− Group B: academic experts responded to 15 questionnaires.
Results and Discussion
According to the high score of the external factors rather than the internal ones, Alamut cultural
tourism is more affected by opportunities and threats than the strength and weakness factors.
This is due to the appropriate conditions of this place for the opportunities. It means that due to
the high cultural attractions and potentials, Alamut attracts the attention of both the local
community and authorities and the tourists who come from other areas.
This place needs the collaboration and potentialities of the neighboring areas for the
development of its cultural tourism to eliminate the deficiencies and enhance the capacities.
Hence, upon the variety-centered strategies it should be emphasized.
Four groups of strategies were determined in terms of different performance degree.
According to the findings, variety strategies are more effective on Alamut cultural tourism. This
section has examined four of the six selected strategies. In other words, some strategies in which
the expected threats are prevented through strong factors should be exerted. Before that, Alamut
should return backward a little and take a defensive stance, though. First of all, the future
opportunities should be taken into consideration, and then, take benefit of the strong factors to
provide a strategy that suppresses the threats (defensive strategy). After that, the variety
strategies could be presented.
In a comprehensive study, it can be mentioned that the development opportunities of cultural
tourism gradually cope with other factors in the current trend of Alamut cultural tourism, and
the surrounding areas of Alamut have a positive historical and recreational appeals for cultural
tourism of this area. Lack of opportunities in the selected strategies indicate that this place of
Qazvin is not still ready to associate with the external culture and conditions and a hasty
attention to the possible opportunities changes most of them to threat. However, in the future it
may be revealed that a window of tourism opportunities would be gradually opened towards
Alamut. Anyway, it is necessary to eliminate the deficiencies and prevent the threats to make
use of these opportunities. In this situation, the competitive strategies could be used as well as
the aggressive strategies, i.e. using the weakness factors to take benefit of the opportunities, to
eliminate the deficiencies through utilization of the opportunities.