Analysis of Sustainable Development Effects of Local Communities on Natural Tourism Development, Naghadeh County

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Candidate in Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


Nowadays, natural tourism plays a main role in tourism activities in the world. In this activity, tourists travel to natural areas including mountains, mountain ranges, foothills, jungles, plains, valleys, deserts, beaches, lakes and wetlands to take advantage from natural beauties. This, as called ecotourism, is created by special willing to use nature in sustainable development and the value of natural heritage in tourism. Ecotourism by following life philosophy and emphasis on internal and inherent values make cultural heritage and sustainability possible by protecting the natural areas, taking advantages of local communities, reinforcing sub cultures, preparing educational and training opportunities, improving job creation and obtaining migration, obligation to less consume of nonrenewable resources, preparing local contribution opportunities, environmental educations and natural environment protection. There are very suitable tourism attractions in Iran that an appropriate management and planning in good manner, can create a development process to obtain sustainable development in rural areas. In this regard, Naghadeh county has been situated in west Azerbaijan, according to its special strategic lacation (in boundary of Iraq and Turkey countries), because of appropriate weather, being closeness to Urmia lake and Gadar river, Wetlands, Hot water springs, wetlands and natural reasons. It could be one of the more attracting areas for development of natural tourism. It can also attract lots of tourists in regional and also national level.
This research has an analytical- descriptive method and is practical research in aspect of aim. Statistical sample of this research is 10 villages in Naghadeh County with natural attractions and 384 people were chosen from these villages as sample size. Sampling method to evaluate the indicators of sustainable development dimensions is optimum allocation sampling according to population of each village. Data gathering has been carried out using direct observation, interviews with experts and questionnaires. The reliability of the questionnaire is measured by Cronbach's alpha and Validity of the content. In order to analyze data, we have used hierarchical cluster analysis, two-way ANOVA and Tukey post hoc test.
Results and Discussion
In this research, we used hierarchical cluster analysis based on indicators grades in triple dimensions of sustainable development. There were 4 clusters for each dimension, then they were named according to theoretical contents. After getting number of clusters and naming them, their sustainability and unsustainability were calculated using simple average method. After clustering factors of rural communities, they were leveled up and Hasanlu hill came in first as a more sustainable place to have tourism capabilities and Saxsi-Tape came in ten as an unsustainable place. Then, we tried to discover the most important and effective factor in development of natural tourism in that area. We interviewed local communities using variance analysis to find differences between triple dimensions and we used Tukey test to test their level of effectiveness. Results show that from people point of view in the rural areas, all three dimensions of sustainable development (economic- organizational, socio- cultural and ecological- environmental dimensions) affect the natural tourism. Its significant level was 0.05 percent. The highest average belonged to advertisement cluster in socio-cultural level and socio- cultural dimension had the most influence on tourism development (by mean of 4.5229).
Today natural tourism has an important role in tourism activities in the world that was created by acceptance of sustainable development concept and natural heritage value. Sustainable development is defined as a stable flow in economic, socio- cultural and environmental changes to increase welfare of the society, which is seeking unity of economic, social, cultural and environmental goals in sustainable way. Thus, natural tourism has most compatibility with sustainable development and can work as a form of sustainable tourism and can also bring benefits for current and future generations. This research aimed to analyze the effects of sustainable development dimensions of rural communities in the development of natural tourism with poll of residents of rural areas in Naghadeh County. In identifying villages with strong tourist attractions, results show that Hasanlu, Baliqchi, Gerdagit and Dorgesangi are in the top and first places and Talegan and Saxsi Tape are in the attractive down because of their natural resources poverty. In grouping of the studied indicators, four clusters for each dimension are revealed as: economic dimension (work and income, governmental planning, increase in quality of life and agriculture), social dimension (knowledge, participation, satisfying from imitation, security, and advertising), ecological and environmental dimension (protecting natural resources, environmental sensitive, land use change, and infrastructural services). Results of Two-way ANOVA and tukey test results of rural communities from the perspective indicated that social-cultural dimension with an average of 4.5339 has the most importance in natural tourism development among three dimensions of sustainable development.
Finally, according to this study, it can be concluded that development of triple dimensions of sustainable development (economic, with indicators such as employment, income, governmental agencies and non-governmental cooperation, investment, governmental planning and …; socio– cultural, with indicators such as public participation, education, security, advertising and …; and  ecological– environmental, with indicators such as protection of natural resources, pollution reduction, improving tourism infrastructure and …) are requirements and foundations of natural tourism development. The availability of environmental and institutional conditions can also encourage residents of rural communities to participate in developing natural tourism. Based on the mentioned points for natural tourism development with an emphasis on dimensions of sustainable development, following suggestions are offered:
- To support local communities contributions
- To improve private sector to invest in this industry
- To create economic advantages in local communities
- To advertise for the related organizations
- To protect natural tourism resources against irresponsible behaviors.


Main Subjects

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