Investigation of Rural Tourism in East Azarbaijan Province of Iran Utilizing SWOT Model and Delphi Technique

F Kazemiyeh, H Sadighi, M Chizari
2016 J. Agr. Sci. Tech   unpublished
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of rural tourism in East Azarbaijan Province of Iran. To fulfill this objective, SWOT model analysis with Delphi technique was used as a method of refining group opinions and substituting computed consensus for an agreed-upon majority opinion. Findings indicated that favorable climate conditions, environmental potential, natural, historical and cultural tourism zones are the most important
more » ... engths, while lack of information and promotional activities to introduce rural tourism attractions and limited education and training of the villagers in how to deal with the tourists are the main weaknesses. Also, the most important opportunities include an increasing tendency to use nature for calmness and recreational activities, a growing attention by province management toward rural tourism, and investment in folklore such as music, local and traditional dress, Cultural Heritage, Handicraft, and Tourism Organization's efforts to rehabilitate and repair historic and cultural buildings, an increasing interest to visit the rural tourism areas, employment in tourism-related activities in rural areas, and appropriate legislation for the development of rural tourism. On the other hand, destruction and gradual extinction of plant and animal species caused by tourists' intervention, demolition of historic villages, lack of attention to rural tourism by extension and rural sector in the Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, lack of or limited service providers or travel agents to visit rural areas, waste emissions and environmental damages are the main threats in this study.