Document Type : Thesis Article
In the process of tourism planning and development, to achieve the sustainability of rural areas, it is necessary to know the factors and components that influence this process. ne of the main attractions of tourism is the satisfactory quality of the environment. Therefore, when referring to the factors affecting tourism demand, it is necessary to consider environmental quality as a component.The environmental quality of touristic villages can influence the mental image of tourists and their satisfaction.The destinations image is a criterion that tourists mainly consider when choosing a destination, and it affects their loyalty to a tourism destination. The environmental quality of rural areas depends on the viewpoint and mental image of tourists; this makes it necessary to benefit from all potential opportunities to effectively enter the rural tourism market at different levels. In the way of tourism planning, this study investigated the environmental quality of rural tourism destinations and explained the most important factors of environmental quality affecting the tourists' satisfaction and loyalty.
According to the research questions and objectives, the descriptive analytical research method - based on the survey and documentary methods- was conducted.The dominant approach is the survey method; yet, in order to collect some data, the documentary method was used. The aim of this study is to explain the effect of environmental quality on satisfaction and loyalty in rural tourism. The statistical population of this research, in terms of location, was the tourist villages located in the sub-province of Izeh, and the participants in the survey were the tourists who had visited the sample villages. The main criterion for selection of sample villages was their integration with tourism phenomenon. In this way, the nine villages were selected as the research sample, consisting of Deh-Howz, Deh-Soraya, Deh-Sheykh, Karta, Lahbid, Haji-Kamal, Bozorg-Shivand, Chaman, and Jadvalkun. According to the last general population and housing census (2016), the sample villages of the research have a total of 614 households and a population of 2596 people. The number of sample tourists based on the Kochran method for unknown population is 450 people, and 50 people are considered for each village.The required data were collected though documentary method and field work (questionnaire)
The findings related to the environmental quality of the studied rural areas show that among the indicators studied in the research, the highest average value equal to 5.58 and standard deviation of 0.7 is related to the indicator of the quantity of green space in the village, and the lowest average value is equal to 1.97 with a standard deviation of 1.11 is related to the indicator of financial services (banks, ATMs, etc.). The level of tourists' satisfaction was investigated through five indicators. Results show that among the indicators, the highest average value equal to 4.58 with the standard deviation of 0.72 is related to the overall satisfaction with travel, and the lowest average value is equal to 4.5 with a standard deviation of 0.8 related to the indicator of suitability of the trip is in terms of time and cost. The level of tourists' loyalty was investigated through five indicators. The results show that the highest average value equal to 4.59 with the standard deviation of 0.79 corresponds to the indicator of recommendation to others, and the lowest average value equal to 4.5 with a standard deviation of 0.83 corresponds to the indicator of preference to revisit this village instead of other destinations.
Results show that the environmental quality in the studied rural areas is above the average level; this is in line with the finding of Sojasi-Qeidari et al., (2014); Akbarian-Ronizi and Shaykh -Baygloo (2015), Sojasi-Qeidari and Sadeghlou (2016), who found that the environmental quality indicators in their studied villages is above average and at a suitable level.There is a direct and statistically significant relationship between the attractiveness of the village, the desire to develop tourism in the village and the length of stay with tourists' assessment of the environmental quality.Tourists' satisfaction is at a above average level in the studied rural areas, and there is a direct and statistically significant relationship between the variables of the desire to develop tourism, the attractiveness of the village, and the length of stay with the level of tourists' satisfaction. Tourists' loyalty is above average (in line with the results of Gim (2018), Mohammadi et al. (2021) and Ramzanzadeh-Lasboi (2016)), and there is a direct and statistically significant relationship between loyalty and the variables of gender, age, frequency of visits, willingness to develop tourism, attractiveness of the village and the length of stay.The results also showed that except for the functional service quality index, other environmental quality indicators have a direct and statistically significant relationship with satisfaction and loyalty.
Tourist destinations are in a competitive environment in the way of attracting tourists. In rural tourism context and to achieve the sustainability of rural areas, it is necessary to explore the factors and components affecting the planning and developing tourism.Environmental quality of touristic villages is one of these components which can affect the mental image of tourists and their satisfaction. Destination image is a criterion that mostly tourists consider when choosing a destination, and it affects their loyalty to a tourism destination. The present study examined the environmental quality of rural tourism areas and its impact on the tourists' satisfaction and loyalty. The results showed that except for functional service quality index, other environmental quality indicators have a significant impact on tourists' satisfaction, and the highest impact is related to environmental dynamic quality indicators and the lowest impact is related to social environment quality index. Results also showed that satisfaction had a direct and significantly positive effect on tourists' loyalty; this is in line with the findings of Yoon et al (2010), Perić et al. (2020) and López-Sanz et al. (2021). Overall, regarding the impact of environmental quality indicators on satisfaction and loyalty, as well as the impact of satisfaction on loyalty, it was revealed that the dynamic environment quality index has the positively influences the tourists' loyalty.