Analysis of Factors Affecting Tourism Development in Religious Cities, Case Study: (Mehran, Arbaeen)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Architecture, Technical and Engineering Faculty, Qom University, Qom, Iran.

2 Department of Architecture, Geography and Urban Planning, Bakhtar Non-Profit Institute, Ilam, Iran.

3 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Islamic Azad University, Ilam branch, Ilam, Iran.


The development of religious tourism extends the opportunities of religious exchange between the tourist and the host community, and these religious exchanges are the elements of the development of religious tourism and contribute to its growth. Arbaeen is one of the ritual-religious traditions, and with its long history, its passionate presence is seen in Mehran. Mehran is important with tourist attractions in tourism development, and although Mehran city is welcomed and passionately attended by people as well as religious tourists every year, the infrastructure and facilities necessary for the growth and development of this industry in Mehran city are not enough. In this research, considering the strengths and weaknesses, all facilities including infrastructures of Mehran city have been tried to pay attention and suggest solutions. Descriptive survey method (questionnaire) is a questionnaire. The research questionnaire was made that its validity and reliability were confirmed and distributed among 300 religious tourists entering Mehran city. Data analysis was performed using factor analysis in SPSS software.The results indicated the identification of 6 factors affecting tourism in the religious city of Mehran, the first priority of which was security with a specific value of 21.79 and the sixth priority was social and cultural factor with a specific value of 12.89. Therefore, in the development of tourism in the religious city of Mehran, security, economy, advertising, infrastructure, natural-environmental factors and socio-cultural factors play an important role.

The growth of international tourism on the one hand and interest in specific tourist destinations on the other hand has led to the continuous development of more types of tourism such as religious tourism, urban tourism, rural tourism, sports tourism and health tourism, religious tourism is a type of tourism whose participants travel partially or exclusively on religious motivation. In fact, 60% of the world's population follows religions, of which 300-330 million people visit the world's most important religious sites. Saudi Arabia and Italy are among the most visited destinations in the world. Religious tourism destinations include shrines, important religious sites of historical or artistic significance, religious festivals or religious associations Religious trips and pilgrimages are complex and variable phenomena that are composed of a set of interactions between religious, folk and natural factors that occur in the geographical space of pilgrimage, several factors affect the development of religious tourism, including promoting shrines, searching for places to meet "self" and God, renewing tours on pilgrimage routes, appearing new pilgrimage routes, developing the automobile industry and Development of tourism infrastructure in pilgrimage centers

Religious tourism as one of the first and oldest forms of tourism still has an important part of the tourism market in this industry. Religious tourism has foreign exchange income through rapid investment in new infrastructures, creating competition between local companies and companies in other tourist countries, stimulating other economic industries through direct, indirect and induced effects, creating employment

Increases income and causes positive exploitation of institutions on a national scale. Many developed countries earn considerable income from this industry. Lewis Turner considers tourism as the most promising industry facing the Third World and believes that tourism has the most possibility of replacing other revenue-generating industries. But only having religious attractions is not able to attract tourism or develop the tourism industry, with the aim of profitability. Rather, what can be used in the development of tourism with the help of attractions for the development of this industry, the existence of infrastructure, facilities and welfare services, social and cultural factors, natural and environmental factors, can be effective with the help of destination attractions to attract tourism. However, the effect of these factors does not work the same in all regions. Therefore, in this study, identifying the factors affecting tourism development and prioritizing the impact of each of these factors has been investigated.The preference of "path" over destination is a prominent feature of some spiritual religious journeys that bring a kind of conduct to the minds of the monks. Trips in which the travel process itself is at the center of attention or at least the journey route is a major part of religious ceremonies as if the route of the journey takes on a sacred color and smell and the presence of walking and traversing the desired route of Sibghah Manaski takes its place. Pilgrimage trips on the Arbaeen trail can be considered as examples of these trips which can be discussed in the form of Islamic tourism literature. Although the formality of muharram ceremonies and mourning ceremonies for Husayn b. 'Ali is the third Imam of Muslim Shiites Collectively and publicly, it is rooted in the dominance of the Shi'a rulers of the Buyid dynasty over Baghdad (320 AH), but it was the emergence of the Safavid dynasty in Iran (907 AH) that recognized as the country's religion and In this way, the bowing of religious rituals, including the rituals of the hands on and chest-beating and requiem recitation in the days of Muharram al-Haram in order to commemorate the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) and his family and companions as Completely popular, public and national rituals have spread throughout the country, and since then, every year among different Shia ethnicities, the Religion of Iranian Society has been implemented in a broad and wide range.Every year, tens of millions of people of our country travel to the sacred religious places of Iraq from the Border of Mehran, which will provide a great capacity for the country to organize these trips at a macro level in order to develop cultural, social and economic. The city of Mehran, which is bordered by Iraq from the south and west, and as a border city that plays a very important role in the traffic of Arbaeen pilgrims, welcomes a large number of pilgrims from the holy shrines during muharram and Arba'in. In this way, the increase in the population due to urbanization development and the increase in the population of pilgrims in the border city of Mehran requires identifying the factors affecting the development of religious tourism in this city,


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