Investigating the Role of Rural Tourism in the Development of Sustainable Employment of Residents in the Post-Corona Era with a Scenario Approach (Case Study: Sarein County)

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration and Tourism, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.


Sustainable rural employment has always been one of the most substantial goals of countries. As an important type of tourism, rural tourism plays a vital role in this context. The COVID-19 pandemic led to many challenges for the tourism industry, and the subsequent negative consequences made countries take some effective measures for the period coming after the pandemic. Scenario writing is one of the measures taken in this case. Accordingly, the crucial purpose of the extant study was to examine the role of rural tourism in developing sustainable employment of residents during the post-corona era by using a scenario-planning approach. The mixed method was used in this research by employing an exploratory-sequential approach within two qualitative and quantitative phases. Thematic Analysis and Scenario Planning were used in the present paper. The statistical population of the study comprised of experts in rural management and planning, rural tourism, public administration, social work, sociology, and rural geography who were examined based on the purposive sampling method. According to findings of the first phase conducted using thematic analysis, the themes extracted from semi-structured interviews were classified into 48 basic, 14 organizing, and 4 global themes used to identify drivers in the next step. Following quantitative results, four scenarios were found, including Economic open doors, Second home tourism, Economic defense shield, Economic isolation and Lockdown. Therefore, rural tourism not only contributes to sustainable employment development but also affects residents, especially their job creation and income. Rural tourism has led to a considerable change in labor mobility in villages by enriching job choices and diversifying more sustainable rural employment. 


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