Document Type : Research Paper
Prof. of Geography and Rural Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Associate Prof. of Geography and Rural Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
MA in Geography and Tourism Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Today, most of the economic activities in rural areas as well as level of employment of rural people and income have declined sharply. Therefore, one of the main reasons for tourism development in rural areas is to overcome the low level of income and to provide the rural residents with new job opportunities. This is because researches indicate that rural tourism has a desirable effect beside rural activities such as agriculture and it provides rural households with considerable lateral incomes. Rural tourism is defined as a multidimensional activity in the environments outside urban areas and it is related to visiting the phenomena displaying the nature of life in villages. Tourism economic dimension is highly important in sustainable tourism. Tourism economic dimensions are highly addressed in tourism sustainable development literature. Main issues of economic sustainability include economic benefits, diversification of local economy, controlled economic growth, improvement of local and regional relations, and fair distribution of economic benefits in local economy. Furthermore, tourism economic sustainability dimension indicate suitable income, stabilized prices of goods and services and equality of job opportunities in the society. As a key factor, satisfaction of tourists with sustainable tourism is highly important in parallel with long term economic efficiency of local tourism. Increasing growth of tourism in the late 1960s led to increased demand for planning. In general, it is evident that if tourism development intends to increase the number of tourists as well as the incomes obtained from rural areas to a desirable level and if it aims to be according to the limits established by social and environmental conditions of the intended areas, there will be a need for management planning in tourism industry.
The present research is a case study. It is an applied research based on the content and with a descriptive-analytic method. Data collection is conducted by using a mixed method (library, field methods and questionnaire). SWOT model is then used to analyze the data. Statistical population of this research includes 3 groups, namely households residing in place, tourists and authorities. In this research, statistical sample volume of local residents was determined by using Cochran Sampling Method. Opportunities, advantages, disadvantages and strategies were then codified by using threats matrix and then, a suitable strategy was selected for the area using positioning condition of Band Park in (EI) diagram.
Results and Discussion
Field studies and the results indicate that Band Park of Urmia enjoys the preliminary conditions for rural tourism development, but this activity has provided the local residents with insignificant economic profits due to spontaneous tourism. This is in the manner that based on the opinion poll made for tourism authorities, 77.1% of the samples believed that no planning has been made in that area for tourism development and utilization of its economic effects. The results of SWOT analysis and QSPM matrix for Band Park Tourism indicate that use of SO strategies are in the first priority for tourism development of that area.
Today, the role of tourism in revival and development of rural areas is undeniable. While preserving natural resource and environment of villages, tourism leads to economic development of these areas. Economic experts consider tourism as an economic phenomenon. They believe that tourism is basically an economic phenomenon and any movement and change in the economy will directly affect tourism. Researches and studies made so far indicate that Band Park has several potentials in the field of nature and rural tourisms, but these potentials have not so far been utilized in parallel with direction of natural and economic procedures and processes for sustainable development of tourism economy. This is due to lack of any accurate and scientific understanding concerning the available potentials, bottlenecks and capabilities. Using SWOT Model and analyzing the existing situation, some strategies were provided for development of tourism in Bank Park among which Offensive Strategies (SO) are prior to tourism development in the area.