Capitals of Local Communities and Tourism-Oriented Economic Development(Case Study: Target Villages for Tourism in Zanjan Province)

Document Type : Extracted from the dissertation


1 MSc of Geography and Rural Planning, Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Cultural Heritage, HandiCrafts and Tourism, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.




Rural areas and communities significantly influence developing countries' political and economic stability. On the other hand, rural areas in developing countries, especially Iran, have economic challenges such as extensive rural-urban migration and the aging of the rural population structure, severe changes in land use, limited job opportunities and high unemployment rate, weak public infrastructure and failure of commercial and market networks, low level of productivity of production factors and weak managerial and technical knowledge, high outflow of capital and limited resources and weakness economic capacities, and the like are facing the rural community with many challenges in achieving economic equality and sustainability of socio-economic development. On the other hand, the emergence of socio-economic changes caused by globalization, the rapid development of urbanization, insufficiency of agricultural sector activities in providing livelihood, and attention to tourism development as a complement to economic development by utilizing local community funds is a solution for rural development. Therefore, in Zanjan province, 16 villages with tourism capacities and attractions in historical, natural, and cultural fields have been identified and introduced as target villages for tourism by the organization of tourism, cultural heritage, and handicrafts. Better planning to properlnity in developing the rural economy by taking advantage of the development of rural tourism in the target villages of Zanjan province. It tries to answer questions:

1- What is the relationship between the local community's capital and the tourism development in the target villages?

2- What are the most important assets of the local community in developing the local economy through tourism?


The current research is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-analytical in terms of method. The methods and tools of information gathering in the current research included library and field methods based on observation and completing the questionnaire. questionnaire questions, and meaningless and irrelevant questions were removed. In order to determine the reliability coefficient, 30 questionnaires (about 10% of the sample) were distributed among the household heads of the studied villages. After collecting the data from the questionnaires, the data was entered into the computer, and using Cronbach's alpha test, the validity of the questionnaires was obtained as 0.867. The statistical population of the research includes the target villages of tourism in Zanjan province, which, according to cost and time limitations, and for detailed study, one case from each city of the province has been selected as a sample. Several 327 cases were selected for studying and completing the questionnaire using Cochran's sampling formula. Statistical tests such as one-sample t, Kruskal-Wallis, regression, and Spearman's correlation were used for quantitative data analysis.

Results and discussion

The results of the desirability of local society's capital indices using a one-sample t-test with the assumption of numerical desirability of 3 as the mean of the Likert spectrum showed that this amount is higher than the numerical desirability of the test for all dimensions of local community capitals and shows a significant difference at the 99% level which shows the positive impact of all aspects of the local community's capital in the development of the local economy based on tourism and the most significant impact among the capitals of the local community, respectively, in the dimensions of "social capital" with a numerical average (3.8245), "built or physical capital" with a numerical average (3.9635) and "natural capital" with a numerical average (3.6931). Investigating the direction and intensity of the impact of rural community capital dimensions in the rural economy through tourism development using linear regression test showed that the significant relationship according to the equivalent determination coefficient (0.901) and the value of the F test statistic equal to 394.172 showed that the significant relationship is significant at the 99% level. Based on the regression result, it can be said that the most significant direct impact of the dimensions of the local community's capital in the rural economy through tourism development from the point of view of the respondents living in the studied tourism target villages can be attributed to financial capital (0.546) and social capital (0.512) was found to be related. Investigating the correlation between the dimensions of rural community capital and the rural economy development index through tourism showed using the Spearman test that between the rural economy development index through tourism and the dimensions of rural community capital inbuilt (physical) capital (0.330), natural capital (0.265), political-institutional capital (0.767), financial capital (0.752), capital Social (0.440) there is a significant relationship at the 99% level. On the other hand, there is no significant relationship between the dimensions of human capital (0.070) and cultural capital (-0.037) and the development of rural economy through tourism in the studied villages.


Finally, the final results show that among the 8 target villages studied, the villages of Su Kahriz in Khorramdarreh county, with an average rank (of 164.75) and Shit in Tarom county, with an average rank (of 164.30), are ranked first and second in terms of the total dimensions of rural community capital. In addition, Papai village in Zanjan county has the lowest rank with an average rating (141.04), and other tourist target villages are located between Behestan and Su Kahriz villages. Also, the spatial analysis of the economic effects of tourism development in the studied tourism target villages in Zanjan province shows this fact that Shit villages in Tarom county and Darsajin in Abhar county, respectively, with average ranking (of 190.00) and (186.64) have the most effectiveness in the development of the tourism-based rural economy. Moreover, activities related to it and Behestan village in Mahneshan county, with an average rating (of 134.39), have the lowest rating in this regard. According to the above-mentioned cases, there is no significant relationship at the level of 95% among the sample villages in both of the studied indicators, i.e., having the dimensions of local capital and the economic effects of tourism development. The main reason for this can be seen in selecting these villages as the target villages for tourism and their unique and numerous attractions.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 28 April 2024
  • Receive Date: 28 January 2024
  • Revise Date: 15 April 2024
  • Accept Date: 28 April 2024