Quantitative Evaluation of the Tourism Capabilities and Priorities of Persian Gardens in Arid Areas

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran

2 Master of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Abstract:
Natural attractions, including gardens, have great potential for attracting tourists. The connection and proximity of these attractions with historical attractions, which are mainly inside the gardens, doubles their importance. Kerman province, which is one of the provinces located in the arid regions of Iran, has many gardens. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the ability of gardens in Kerman County to attract tourists using Pralong model and the tourism grade of each garden is obtained from the average of four indicators: "Physical beauty", "Scientific", "Historical-cultural" and "Socio-economic" which are scored in five different levels. Library, documentary and survey methods have been used in data collection. In order to accurately evaluate and score during the research process while surveying the region, tourism activists in the province as well as professors of the Tourism Planning and Management Department were used and four gardens of Shazdeh Mahan, Beyromabad, Harandy Garden Museum and Fathabad were selected for this research. The results show that in terms of tourism standard, Shazdeh Garden has a first rank with a score of 0.7. According to the statistics of the "Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism" and the Pralong model, in attracting tourists, Shazdeh Garden is in the first place and Fathabad Garden, Harandy Garden Museum and Beyromabad Garden are in the next ranks. In terms of beauty, Shazdeh Garden has gained the most points due to the presence of old trees, water flow and beautiful building. In terms of scientific value, Harandy Garden Museum has gained the first rank in the ranking with a score of 0.69, one of the reasons for which is the existence of an archaeological museum (valuable works are kept in it). In general, based on the research model in the four studied gardens, the score of historical-cultural value (0.75) and aesthetic value (0.74) is much higher than the score of socio-economic values (0.52) and scientific (0.55) which shows the beauty of the studied gardens and also their historical value.

Materials and Methods:
The present study has been carried out with the aim of application-development and based on field evaluations and also the study of historical documents and by applying one of the common models in the evaluation of geotourism potentials of the regions (Pralong method). The reason for choosing the Pralong model in the forthcoming paper among other similar methods is that this model has a marvelous performance in attracting tourists due to considering different aspects and capabilities of tourism sites. Accordingly, first, through library studies, by reviewing the sources and documents related to the subject and area under study, the required information and data have been collected. Then, by examining topographic maps and field visits, the gardens and the location of the studied geomorphosites were identified and displayed by ArcGIS 10.8 software. It is worth mentioning that the tourism grade of each garden has been obtained from the average of four indicators: "Physical beauty", "Scientific", "Historical-cultural" and "Socio-economic" which are scored in five different levels.

Discussion and Results:
Identifying the studied areas is the first step that has been considered in this section and after that, based on the opinions of tourism activists in Kerman province and also professors of tourism planning and management, valuation has been done using the relevant model. To determine the tourism value of Kerman province, the average of four criteria of physical beauty, scientific, cultural-historical and socio-economic has been used. Each of the values scored according to its own criteria in five different levels and finally the grade of that value obtained from the average score of the criteria of that value. According to the result, Beyromabad Garden has the lowest score, the main reason is that the garden is not open to the public and the highest score is given to Shazdeh Garden, which shows its beauty and importance at the international level. And its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage has added to its importance. According to the experts, the ranking of gardens in Kerman province is as follows:
1) Shazdeh Mahan Garden;
2) Fathabad Garden;
3) Harandy Garden Museum;
4) Beyromabad Garden.

Conclusion:
According to experts and Pralong model, in general, Shazdeh Garden is in the first place and Fathabad Garden, Harandy Garden Museum and Beyromabad Garden are in the next ranks of tourism destinations. In terms of beauty, Shazdeh Garden has gained the most points due to the presence of old trees, water flow and superb buildings. In terms of the scientific value of the garden, Harandy Garden Museum with a score of 0.69 has gained the first rank in prioritization, which is due to the existence of the archaeological museum, which has many valuable historical monuments. The results of this research show that Shazdeh Garden has a higher score than the other three gardens, which has a high value in terms of "tourism" as well as "utilization". Beyromabad Garden also has the lowest score, because it is not possible for tourists to visit this garden at the moment. Conforming to the four studied gardens, the score of historical-cultural value (0.75) and the value of physical beauty (0.74) is much higher than the score of socio-economic (0.52) and scientific values (0.55) which shows the beauty of the studied gardens and also their historical value. Examining the researches that have been done on this subject before, we find that in the past, the purpose of building Persian gardens was to produce happiness and joy, and the use of most of these gardens has been recreational. So far, researchers have made interesting comparative comparisons of gardens and described the role of gardens in Persian culture, but none of them specifically address the gardens of the arid areas and the four gardens mentioned in this paper, located in Kerman province.

Keywords

Main Subjects



Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 17 April 2021
  • Receive Date: 29 November 2020
  • Revise Date: 17 April 2021
  • Accept Date: 17 April 2021