Assessment of tourism sustainability in tourism target villages (Case study: Sepidan County)



1. Introduction:
It is not possible to develop tourism activities in rural areas without an attention to sustainability concepts and related discussions. Tourism development in these areas perse leads to nowhere and in this way, rural tourism will encounter many challenges and obstacles. Iran is among the countries which addresse sustainable development of rural areas in the wake of tourism development and in recent years, various policies and programs (the country comprehensive plan of tourism development, defining special tourism areas, etc.) have been planned in this regard. Defining target villages for tourism is of governmental activities to fade deprivation, exploit possible abilities of deprived areas, particularly villages, and stablish developmental initiatives in line with policies specified in the twenty-year vision plan. Of the above-mentioned villages are target villages for tourism in Sepidan county (in Fars province) which due to their special weather conditions, are among the most important and attractive tourism areas of Fars province and attract huge inter- and extra-provincial tourists in leisure times and vacations. Meanwhile, evaluating development of tourism sustainability is an important and essential subject matter, because achieving sustainable development of tourism destinations entails a comprehensive understanding of sustainability status of tourism destinations and so, tourism development of rural areas follows the same rule. In better words, evaluating tourism sustainability in target villages seems to be unavoidable since the knowledge of tourism sustainability and their aspects in these areas could shed light on matters decision makers and other stakeholders in this field come up with. So, our main goal in the present study is evaluating sustainability level of tourism development of target villages of Sepidan county and answering to three questions as follows: a) At which sustainability level, the tourism development of target villages could be assessed? b) What is the difference of sustainable tourism from the perspective of residents and local officials? c) What is the difference of sustainable development between target villages of Sepidan County?
2. Methodology:
This study is practical in objective and descriptive-analytical in accomplishment. Our data have been collected via library and survey methods and the latter was based on questionnaires. Our study area involves six target villages for tourism in Sepidan County including Deh Kohne, Behreghan, Roudbal, Margun, Kahkaran and Kamher. Our statistical population were residents and local officials. In this study, we specified indices and indicators through Delphi method and the views of scholars. In order to analyze data we used statistical methods (descriptive and inferential statistics) and also non-statistical methods (sustainability barometer and sustainability radar).
3. Discussion:
Sustainability status of tourism development of the studied villages shows that the overall sustainability score was 0.532 which was 0.513 in the residents’ views and was 0.552 in the local officials’ views. Among the triple aspects, social and cultural aspects having the same score of 0.582, had the most sustainability level and bio-environmental aspect was found to be the lowest level of sustainability with the score of 0.469 which shows the undesirable status of bio-environmental aspect of tourism development. In this regard, studying views of the two groups separately shows that the maximum and minimum of sustainability level respectively belong to the economic and the bio-environmental aspects in residents’ points of view and the maximum and minimum of sustainability level respectively belong to the social-cultural and the economic aspects in local officials’ points of view.
4. Conclusion:
Our results based on barometer method shows that tourism development of the studied villages has an average level of sustainability which by the triple aspects, social-cultural aspect has a better status of sustainability than the other two aspects i.e. the economic and the bio-environmental aspects. Evaluating sustainability by the main studied indices also shows that maximum and minimum level of sustainability belong to the index of the satisfaction from tourism development and also of the bio-environmental awareness. Another result of our study concerns the level of sustainability of tourism development in each of the studied villages which shows that Margun village has the maximum score and Behraghan village has the minimum score of sustainability of tourism development and in total of six target villages for tourism, three villages(Kamhar, Kahkaran and Behraghan) were assessed as unsustainable in the spectrum of sustainability level and the other three villages which were assessed as sustainable by level as follows: weak sustainability(Deh Kohne), average sustainability(Roudball) and good sustainability(Margun village). In this regard, we concluded that for any of the triple aspects of sustainability of tourism development there is a significant difference between the target villages for tourism in Sepidan county, in these villages, tourism development has an average level of sustainability and there is also a huge difference between these villages in terms of tourism sustainability. So, we finally saw that it has not been taken due attention to the accomplishment of tourism sustainable development, its principles and objectives as it deserves to do so in rural areas of Iran, particularly in target villages for tourism. Our survey study also shows that this class of villages specified as target villages for tourism with the target of developing rural tourism, have involved in various but primary troubles which could face tourism development with many challenges. So, it demands a deeper scientific and executive vision and understanding in line with fulfilling sustainability paradigm generally in tourism development and in tourism development of target villages, in particular.


افتخاری، عبدالرضا رکن‌‌‌الدین، مهدوی، داود و پورطاهری، مهدی، 1390، فرایند بومی‌‌سازی شاخص‌های توسعة پایدار گردشگری، فصلنامة پژوهشهای روستایی، شمارة 4، صص. 41-1.
اکبریان رونیزی، سعیدرضا، 1391، ارزیابی پایداری الگوهای گردشگری در نواحی روستایی پیرامون کلانشهرها؛ مورد: روستاهای پیرامون کلانشهر تهران، رسالة دکتری، دانشگاه تهران.
اکبریان رونیزی، سعیدرضا و رضوانی، محمدرضا، 1394، تحلیل و تبیین پایداری توسعة گردشگری در مناطق روستایی (مورد: بخش مرکزی شهرستان دماوند)، فصلنامة پژوهشهای جغرافیای انسانی، شمارة 1، صص. 95-81.
بیات، ناصر، 1393، ارائة مدل الگوی مدیریت اثرات گردشگری در نواحی روستایی؛ مطالعة موردی: دهستان کمازان سفلی شهرستان ملایر، رسالة دکتری، دانشگاه تهران.
رحیمی، داریوش و رنجبر دستانی، محمود، 1391، ارزیابیواولویت‌ندیجاذبه‌هایاکوتوریسم: روستاهایهدفگردشگریاستانچهارمحال‌وبختیاری، فصلنامة مطالعات شهری منطقه‌ای شمارة 14، صص. 150-131.
رضوانی، محمدرضا، 1387، توسعة گردشگری روستایی با رویکرد گردشگری پایدار، انتشارات دانشگاه تهران، چاپ اول.
رضوانی، محمدرضا، اکبریان رونیزی، سعیدرضا، افتخاری، عبدالرضا رکن‌الدین و بدری، سیدعلی، 1391، تبیین شاخصهای محک پایداری در ارزیابی آثار الگوهای گردشگری در نواحی روستایی پیرامون کلانشهرها؛ مطالعة موردی: نواحی روستایی پیرامون کلانشهر تهران، فصلنامة پژوهشهای جغرافیای انسانی، شمارة 3، صص. 94-69.
ضرغام بروجنی، حمید و نیک‌بین، مهنا، 1391، سنجش پایداری توسعة گردشگری در جزیرة کیش، فصلنامة پژوهش‌های اقتصادی، شمارة 2، صص. 168-137.
علیقلی‌زاده، ناصر، 1393، بررسیعملکرددولتدرتوسعة فعالیت‌هایگردشگریباتأکیدبر سیاست‌هاوبرنامه‌های گردشگریدرنواحیروستایی، دومین همایش ملی نقش گردشگری در توسعه، دانشگاه مازندران، صص. 2258– 2247.
فراهانی، حسین، 1385، ارزیابی پایداری درنواحی روستایی با تأکید بر عوامل اجتماعی- اقتصادی، مطالعة موردی: شهرستان تفرش، رسالة دکتری، دانشگاه تهران.
قدیری معصوم، مجتبی، استعلاجی، علیرضا و پازوکی، معصومه، 1389، گردشگری پایدار (روستایی و عشایری)، انتشارات دانشگاه تهران، تهران.
مهدوی، داود، 1390، ارزیابی پایداری توسعة گردشگری روستایی در ایران (مورد روستاهای تاریخی فرهنگی ایران)، رسالة دکتری، دانشگاه تربیت مدرس.
Chami, C., 2002, Sustainable Tourism Development: A Comparison between Tanzania and Kenya, A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research in Partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of philosophy.
Chin, C.H., Lo, M.C., Songan, P. & Nair, V., 2014, Rural Tourism Destination Competitiveness: A Study on Annah Rais Longhouse Homestay, Sarawak, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 144, PP. 35-44.
Choi, H.C. & Sirakaya, E., 2006, Sustainability Indicators for Managing Community Tourism, Journal of Tourism Management, Vol. 27, PP. 1274-1289.
Georg, W., 2008, Tourism Politics, Globalization, Sustainable and Responsible Tourism, Available from.
Hardy, A., Robert, J. Beeton, S. & Pearson, L., 2002, Sustainable Tourism: An Overview of the Concept and its Position in Relation to Conceptualisation of Tourism, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Volume 10, Issue 6, December, PP. 475-496.
Harris, R. & Leiper, N., 1995, Sustainable Tourism: An Australian perspective, Australia: Butterworth Heinneman.
Hunter, C., 1997, Sustainable Tourism as an Adaptive Paradigm, Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 24, PP. 850–867.
Jr, E.T., 2003, An Analysis of Variables that Influence Stakeholder Participation and Support for Sustainable Tourism Development in Rural North Carolina, A dissertation Submitted to the north Carolina state university of central Florida, for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Kent, K., 2005, The Roles of the Public, Private and Civic Sectors in Adventure Tourism in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve: Garhwal Himalaya, india, A thesis to be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate studies in partial Fulfillment of the requirements, for the degree of Master of Natural Resources Management.
KO, T.G., 2005, Development of a Tourism Sustainability Assessment Procedure: A conceptual approach, Journal of Tourism Management 26, PP. 431–445.
Mowforth, M. & Munt, I., 1998, Tourism and Sustainability: New tourism in the Third World, London: Routledge.
Murphy, P., 1994, Tourism and Sustainable Development, In W. Theobald, Global tourism: The next decade, Oxford: Butterworth, PP. 274-290.
Risteskia, M., Kocevskia, J. & Arnaudov, K., 2012, Spatial Planning and Sustainable Tourism as basis for Developing Competitive Tourist Destinations, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 44, PP. 375-386.
Schorner, B., 2010, Sustainable Mountain Tourism Development Illustrated in the Case of Switzerland, Sustainable Mountain Tourism Development Illustrated in the Case of Switzerland, PP. 87-108.
Telfer, D. & Sharpley, R., 2008, Tourism and Development in the Developing World, Routledge, New York.
Tosun, C., 1998, De"cits in Approaches to Tourism Development Planning in Developing Countries: The case of Turkey, International conference of international travel and tourism: Policy, law and management, 19-21 April, Newcastle upon Tyne: University of North Umbria.
Tosun, C., 2001, Challenges of Sustainable Tourism Development in the Developing World, the case of Turkey, Tourism management, Vol. 22, PP. 289-303.
UNDP, 1999, Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, Fourth meeting Montreal, 21-25 June.
Weaver, D.B., 2012, Sustainable Tourism, New Yourk, Routledge.
Weaver, D. & Lawton, L., 2002, Tourism Management, 2nd Edition, Sydney: John Wiley and Sons Australia.
Yarkova. Y. & Stoykova, B., 2008, Sustainability of Rural Tourism in the Smolyan Municipality of Bulgaria, Trakia University, Trakia Journal of Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 3, PP. 31-40.