Analysis of the Role of Cultural Heritage Attractions in Development of Urban Tourism in Central Iran )Case Study: Yazd City(

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Geography and Urban Planning, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Payam Noor University, Isfahan, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


Cultural or heritage tourism is a tool of economic development that leads to economic growth by attracting visitors from outside the host community through historic and heritage attractions of destinations. This is a human heritage as cultural traditions of each society and is considered as cultural tourist attractions. Hence, Yazd is an ancient city with archaic culture and also rich cultural heritage as cultural tourism products. These attractions, especially the urban attractions, are of great importance because of Iranian civilization identity and culture. They are considered as a component of development of Yazd city. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of these culture attractions in the development of cultural tourism in Yazd City.
Based on components of this study, this is an applied research and descriptive- analytical in methodology. Statistical population of this research is 384 internal tourism visitors of heritage- cultural attractions of Yazd city in 2014. This is calculated based on Cochrane sampling. To analyze the effects of degree of development, different indicators in cultural tourism have been used by analytic network model (ANP) and SWOT planning model in order to make strategic planning for cultural tourism development in the city of Yazd. Heritage- cultural attractions and capabilities of destinations are as independent variables and cultural and urban tourism development as dependent variables.
Results and Discussion
Reviewing the number of internal and external tourists in Yazd province during the spring and summer 2011 indicates that about 1,244,048 tourists were entered the province that 92 percent of this tourists namely around 1,144,524 are visitors that have visited the cultural- historical monuments of Yazd. Of this number of visitors, 404,389 visitors have most likely a day trip and 839,659 tourists had to stay overnight at the hotel in town. Investigation on the number of tourists who have visited the historical sites of Yazd city during the years 2007 to 2011 indicate that after 2009 the number has sharply decreased. Thus, this number of 40,360 foreign tourists in 2009 has declined to 17,271 tourists in 2011. Also the number of internal tourists has decreased from 422,293 visitors in 2009 to 344,418 in 2011. Today, tourism growth is becoming more competitive. This is undeniable necessity for the development and promotion of qualitative and quantitative functions and the infrastructure needed for tourists. Hence, there are a lot of historical places and tourism sites in Yazd city. Tourism facilities in Yazd city is significantly are considerable among other cities of Iran. There are 47 hotels located in the Yazd city. This represents the concentration of tourism facilities in Yazd city. Also there are 36 tourism offices in the province and 26 offices are located in Yazd city. The results of field surveys shows 43.1 percent of internal visitors are complete acquaintance with historical and tourism sites of the city. This represents an effective advertising in this field. Thus, 78.9 percent of the visitors believe that advertising of cultural attractions in the Yazd city can be effective to outline the true face of Islamic- Iranian culture and attract internal tourists. Analytical findings based on network analysis indicate that indicators of cultural tourism capacities with amount 0.124 and tourist satisfaction with 0.116 are a very important factor in increasing of development of cultural tourism in Yazd city.
The first step in analysis of strategic planning of cultural tourism in Yazd city is to identify the dimensions and variables affecting the growth of this type of tourism. Therefore, the first attempt is to extract strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of this kind of tourism. With the investigations conducted in relation to cultural tourism in Yazd city, we have allocated weaknesses and threats in this type of tourism, with coefficients of 8.41 and 7.36 in the highest value and strengths and opportunities with coefficients 6.12 and 6.54 in lowest value. Status of cultural tourism in Yazd city is faced with numerous weaknesses. This means that with current planning process, greater emphasis was on the increase in the number of tourist arrivals. It has been neglected to consider the issues like investment and participation of private sector in the restoration and maintenance of heritage–cultural phenomena. Thus, this heritage and cultural attractions show that the culture of people of Yazd is very attractive for domestic and foreign visitors. Therefore, to provide strategic planning of cultural tourism for Yazd city, win strategy will be used because this strategy will completely disable the internal negative factors. Hence, to provide a coordinated program and integrated management in all sectors of cultural tourism, the most important factors on development of tourism are including event and cultural-religious rituals in historic places, investment in the material sector of cultural heritage, cooperation with universities, reconstruction and rehabilitation of historic centers as an attraction of cultural tourism, human resource management, maintenance and preservation of cultural heritage by establishing a heritage museum, use of glass shield or fences for historic homes and other historic sites. Attracting more visitors involves some factors including  creation of residential centers in the towns of Yard to increase durability of visitors staying, creation of vast green spaces in the center and historical attractions with maintaining non-interference and non-damaging in the historic attractions, commercial use of historic homes on the condition of invulnerability and destruction, cooperation in with the three provinces of Isfahan, Fars and Yazd in attraction of tourism, and creation of joint educational centers and training cultural heritage studies in Yazd.


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