Assessing the Sustainable Livelihood Levels of Rural Communities (Case Study: Oramanat Tourist Area)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.

3 MSc. Student, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.


Rural tourism is one of the most important ways to reduce poverty in rural communities in order to achieve sustainable rural development. The present study examines the levels of sustainable livelihoods of rural communities in Oramanat (four cities of Paveh, Javanrood, Ravansar and Thalas Babajani). The research method is descriptive-correlational and in terms of purpose, it is of applied type. The statistical population of the study was 17763 people (N = 177663) of which 280 people were selected as a sample using a stratified random sampling method with an appropriate assignment to the sample. The research instrument was a researcher-made questionnaire consisting of questions related to farmers' livelihood assets. The Sustainable Living Framework was provided by the Department for International Development. The validity of the questionnaire was examined by faculty members of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Education and the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization of Kermanshah Province and its reliability was confirmed by Cronbach's alpha. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS23 software. Findings showed that the highest level of capital is physical, financial, and social capital and the lowest is human capital. "Renting a house, selling handicrafts, and selling local food" were the main occupations related to tourism. The results showed the positive and significant effect of tourism on the livelihood capital of rural households. Finally, setting up a local tourism office, providing rural infrastructure and equipment for tourists, and paying attention to the initiatives of local people are the general suggestions of the present study. 


Aazami, M., & Shanazi, K. (2020). Tourism wetlands and rural sustainable livelihood: The case from Iran. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 30: 1-13.
Abdullahzadeh, Gh., Salehi, Kh., Sharifzadeh, M.Sh., Khwaja Shahkoohi, A. (2015). Investigating the effect of tourism on sustainable rural livelihood in Golestan province. Journal of Tourism Planning and Development, 4 (15): 148-169. (Persian)
Anang, B. T., & Yeboah, R. W. (2019). Determinants of off-farm income among smallholder rice farmers in Northern Ghana: Application of a double-hurdle model. Advances in Agriculture, (2): 1-7.
Berno, T. (2011). Sustainability on a plate: Linking agriculture and food in the Fiji Islands tourism industry. Tourism and agriculture: New Geographies of Consumption, Production and Rural Restructuring: 87-103. 
Birthal, P. S., Hazrana, J., & Negi, D. S. (2020). Diversification in Indian agriculture towards high value crops: Multilevel determinants and policy implications. Land Use Policy, 91: 1-18.
Chambers, R., & Conway, G. (1992). Sustainable rural livelihoods: practical concepts for the 21st century. Institute of Development Studies (UK).
DasGupta, M., Roy, N. (2017). National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and Sustainable Livelihood Development through Poverty Alleviation. International Journal of Multidisciplinary, 2(9): 107-113.
Degarege, G. A., & Lovelock, B. (2021). Addressing zero-hunger through tourism? Food security outcomes from two tourism destinations in rural Ethiopia. Tourism Management Perspectives, 39: 1-12.
Dela Torre, G. M. V., Gutiérrez, E. M. A., & Guzman, T. J. L. G. (2005). Tourism as generator of wealth in rural areas. Proceedings of the 18th European Advanced Studies Institute in Regional Science, Lodz-Cracow, Poland, 1-10.
Department for international development (DFID). (1999). Sustainable livelihoods guidance sheets. London, UK: DFID.
Eshliki, S. A., & Kaboudi, M. (2017). Perception of community in tourism impacts and their participation in tourism planning: Ramsar, Iran. Journal of ASIAN Behavioural Studies, 2(4): 59-69.
Galvani, A. P., Bauch, C. T., Anand, M., Singer, B. H., & Levin, S. A. (2016). Human–environment interactions in population and ecosystem health. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(51): 14502-14506.
Gao, J., & Wu, B. (2017). Revitalizing traditional villages through rural tourism: A case study of Yuanjia Village, Shaanxi Province, China. Tourism Management, 63: 223-233.
Garau, C. (2015). Perspectives on cultural and sustainable rural tourism in a smart region: The case study of Marmilla in Sardinia (Italy). Sustainability, 7(6): 6412-6434.
He, A. L., Yang, X. J., Chen, J., & Wang, Z. Q. (2014). Impact of rural tourism development on farmer’s livelihoods—A case study of rural tourism destinations in northern slop of Qinling Mountains. Economic Geography, 34(12): 174-181.
Hepburn, E. (2016). Investigating the understanding, interest and options for agri-tourism to promote food security in the Bahamas, 531: 17-29.
Kayat, K. (2010). The nature of cultural contribution of a community-based homestay programme. Tourismos: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism, 5(2): 145–159.
Kheiri, J., & Nasihatkon, B. (2016). The effects of rural tourism on sustainable livelihoods (Case study: Lavij rural, Iran). Modern Applied Science, 10(10): 10-22.
Kontogeorgopoulos, N., Churyen, A., & Duangsaeng, V. (2015). Homestay tourism and the commercialization of the rural home in Thailand. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 20(1): 29–50.
Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30(3), 607-610.
Langroudi, S.H.M., Riahi, V., & Jalalian, H., Ahmadi, A. (2018). Analysis of sustainability levels of villagers' livelihood (case study of Saqez villages). Rural Development Strategies, 6 (1): 3-19. (Persian)
Li, H., Nijkamp, P., Xie, X., & Liu, J. (2020). A New Livelihood Sustainability Index for Rural Revitalization Assessment—A Modelling Study on Smart Tourism Specialization in China. Sustainability, 12(8), 1-18.
Liu, J., Zhang, J., & Fu, Z. (2017). Tourism eco-efficiency of Chinese coastal cities–Analysis based on the DEA-Tobit model. Ocean & Coastal Management, 148: 164-170.
Ma, X., Wang, R., Dai, M., & Ou, Y. (2020). The influence of culture on the sustainable livelihoods of households in rural tourism destinations. Journal of Sustainable Tourism: 1-18.
Ma, J., Zhang, J., Li, L., Zeng, Z., Sun, J., Zhou, Q. B., & Zhang, Y. (2018). Study on livelihood assets-based spatial differentiation of the income of natural tourism communities. Sustainability, 10(2): 1-20.
Massoud, M. A., Issa, S., El-Fadel, M., & Jamali, I. (2016). Sustainable livelihood approach towards enhanced management of rural resources. International Journal of Sustainable Society, 8(1): 54-72.
Mirzaei, R. (2008). Investigating the effect of tourism industry development on employment and comparing it with other economic sectors in Oramanat region. Master Thesis, Allameh Tabatabai University. (Persian)
Mohammadi, S., Talaati, M., Asadi, S., Manouchehri, S. (2018). Explaining the effects of tourism development on changing the living standards of mountain villages Case study: Oraman rural district-West of Kurdistan province. Geographical Research, 33 (1): 191-208. (Persian)
Muresan, I. C., Oroian, C. F., Harun, R., Arion, F. H., Porutiu, A., Chiciudean, G. O., ... & Lile, R. (2016). Local residents’ attitude toward sustainable rural tourism development. Sustainability, 8(1): 1-14.
Nyaupane, G. P., & Poudel, S. (2011). Linkages among biodiversity, livelihood, and tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(4), 1344-1366.
Pasanchay, K., Schott, C. (2021). Community-based tourism homestays' capacity to advance the Sustainable Development Goals: A holistic sustainable livelihood perspective. Tourism Management Perspectives, 37: 1-11. 
Peaty, D. (2009). Community-based tourism in the Indian Himalaya: Homestays and lodges. Journal of Ritsumeikan Social Sciences Humanities, 2, 25-44.
Peng, B., & Yuan, M. (2020). Study on the Multi-Functional Coordinated Development of Rural Tourism under the Sustainable Livelihood. International Journal of Social Sciences in Universities, 3(4); 174-175.
Petrevska, B., & Terzić, A. (2020). Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: Can Tourism-Related Activities Contribute?. Handbook of Research on Agricultural Policy, Rural Development, and Entrepreneurship in Contemporary Economies, 354-377. 
Program Development Office for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (PDO-ICZM). (2002). Perceptions of Direct Stakeholders on Coastal livelihoods; Working Paper wp004 of the project. Water Resources Planning Organization, Ministry of Water Resources, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Qian, C., Sasaki, N., Jourdain, D., Kim, S. M., & Shivakoti, P. G. (2017). Local livelihood under different governances of tourism development in China–A case study of Huangshan mountain area. Tourism Management, 61, 221-233.
Ramaano, A. I. (2021). Prospects of using tourism industry to advance community livelihoods in Musina municipality, Limpopo, South Africa. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 1-15.
Rashid, T. (2020). Local Community and Policy Maker Perspectives on Sustainable Livelihoods, Tourism, Environment and Waste Management in Siem REAP/ANGKOR, Cambodia. International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, 16(1): 1-37.
Razzaq, A. R. A., Hadi, M. Y., Mustafa, M. Z., Hamzah, A., Khalifah, Z., & Mohamad, N. H. (2011). Local community participation in homestay program development in Malaysia. Journal of Modern Accounting Auditing, 7(12), 1418.
Sati, V. P., & Vangchhia, L. (2017). Sustainable livelihood approach to poverty reduction. In A Sustainable Livelihood Approach to Poverty Reduction (pp. 93-100). Springer, Cham.
Shukor, M. S., Salleh, N. H. M., Othman, R., & Idris, S. H. M. (2014). Perception of homestay operators towards homestay development in Malaysia. Jurnal Pengurusan (UKM Journal of Management), 42: 3-18.
Su, M. M., Wall, G., & Xu, K. (2016). Tourism-induced livelihood changes at mount Sanqingshan world heritage site, China. Environmental Management, 57(5), 1024-1040.
Su, M. M., Wall, G., Wang, Y., & Jin, M. (2019a). Livelihood sustainability in a rural tourism destination-Hetu Town, Anhui Province, China. Tourism Management, 71, 272-281.
Su, Z., Aaron, J. R., Guan, Y., & Wang, H. (2019b). Sustainable Livelihood Capital and Strategy in Rural Tourism Households: A Seasonality Perspective. Sustainability, 11(18), 1-14.
Su, M. M., Wall, G., & Wang, Y. (2019c). Integrating tea and tourism: A sustainable livelihoods approach. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 27, (6): 1-18.
Tajere-Moghaddam, M., T, Zabidi., M, Yazdanpanah. (2020). Analysis of preventive behaviors against corona virus Case: Rural areas of Dashtestan city. Journal Space Economy & Rural Development, 9(33): 1-24. (Persian)
Telfer, D. J., & Wall, G. (1996). Linkages between tourism and food production. Annals of Tourism Research, 23(3), 635–653.
Torres, R., & Momsen, J. (2011). Tourism and Agriculture: new Geographies of Consumption, production and rural restructuring. (pp. 87–103). London & New York:  Routledge.
UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation). (2015). Annual Report 2014, Madrid, Spain.
Velazquez, E. M., Martínez, T. C., & González-Guerrero, G. (2020). Tourism Routes for the Diversification of Rural Livelihoods: A Methodological Approach. In Tourism, IntechOpen: 1-11.
Weaver, D. B. (2006). Sustainable tourism: Theory and Practice. Routledge.
Woyesa, T., & Kumar, S. (2021). Potential of coffee tourism for rural development in Ethiopia: a sustainable livelihood approach. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 23(1), 815-832.
Wu, M. Y., & Pearce, P. L. (2014). Host tourism aspirations as a point of departure for the sustainable livelihoods approach. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22(3), 440-460.
Xue, L., & Kerstetter, D. (2019). Rural tourism and livelihood change: An Emic perspective. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 43(3), 416-437.
Yanes, A., Zielinski, S., Diaz Cano, M., & Kim, S. I. (2019). Community-based tourism in developing countries: A framework for policy evaluation. Sustainability, 11(9), 1-23. 
Zapata, M. J., Hall, C. M., Lindo, P., & Vanderschaeghe, M. (2011). Can community-based tourism contribute to development and poverty alleviation? Lessons from Nicaragua. Current Issues in Tourism, 14(8), 725-749.
Zhao, W., Ritchie, J. B., & Echtner, C. M. (2011). Social capital and tourism entrepreneurship. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(4), 1570-1593.