Sustainable Rural Tourism in the Margins of Tehran Metropolis (From the Perspective of Ahar)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Full Professor, Department of Human Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Human Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Rural Planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

4 Associate Professor, Department of Disaster, Emergency, and Business Continuity Management, School of Administrative Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada.


Due to the failure of development programs, it is necessary to revisit the concept of sustainability. Sustainability is the frontispiece of all development actions and programs, such as the rural tourism. Therefore, the main factor in the progression of the development goals is to attain a common view about the issues. This qualitative study attempts to survey the sustainable tourism dimensions in villages located in the margin regions of Iran's metropolises (Ahar) by using perceptions and attitudes of stakeholders. The required data was collected using interviews with key stakeholder tourism groups (local executives, tourists, immigrants, and residents). The results showed that tourism does not have proper sustainability in economic, socio-cultural, and environmental pillars. Generally, there is no interrelation and balance among the three pillars of sustainable tourism. It seems that the lack of sustainability of tourism activities in Ahar is mainly due to structural weakness, lack of understanding of stakeholders of sustainable development, lack of requirement training, legal barriers, and failure to establish an optimal balance between the stakeholders' benefits.


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