Explain the Strategic Planning Model of Biophilic Tourism Case Study: Tehran Metropolis

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD in Geography and Urban Planning, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Extended Abstract
Tourism is the largest and fastest industry in the world, which has a great potential for growth and development and also it is an important tool for spatial development, but generally these activities are accompanied by the development of services and infrastructures such as hotels, roads and landscaping affect nature and change the ecological balance to meet the needs and desires of tourists by destroying habitats and natural spaces in cities and surrounding areas, and on the other hand, they lead to pollution and the density of hard and harsh constructions in the cities. Continuation of these activities will have adverse consequences on the biodiversity, ecosystem and natural spaces of cities. Therefore, in the face of this destructive development, a new approach to urban tourism planning is felt by adopting the best perceptions of urban planning and design in line with the natural environment. Such an approach reflects the characteristics of planning. It is a biophilic city that considers nature as a model, strategy and consultant. Biophilic tourism due to its nature-oriented feature in urban spaces through balance and environmental protection, reducing nature degradation, reducing waste accumulation, supporting local businesses and increasing local income, creating new businesses, creating innovative biophilic patterns in the city, utilization of indigenous natural phenomena and the environment, promotion of social capital and society supports environmental, economic and social sustainability. In addition to preserving nature, it also shows tourists how to love nature, all of which can contribute to the sustainability and development of urban tourism. Meanwhile, the city of Tehran is of special importance in terms of natural attractions and nature-based tourism and has outstanding features, and in this regard, it has undeniable opportunities for sustainable development of tourism through biophilic tourism. This issue indicates the importance of expanding biophilic tourism development planning in Tehran. Utilizing these opportunities requires strengthening the relationship between tourism and nature, introducing natural and biophilic attractions to the tourist, utilizing the existing places with the ability to create biophilic patterns in the city and providing the ground for creation of a unique independent identity of the city in the direction of biophilic tourism.
The present research is applied and descriptive-analytical in terms of purpose and method, respectively. The required information and data have been collected through documentary-library and field methods. In this study, the identified strategies by 15 professors and PhD students and executive expert who are familiar with the subject and environment of the study area were modified and after saturating the opinion about comprehensiveness, were selected as the final research strategies. In order to analyze the data, multi-criteria decision making and SWARA method have been used to weigh and measure the importance of strategies and to discover the impact of each of the main strategies on biophilic tourism, Smart-PLS software has been exerted. In order to use the SWARA method, in the first step, 4 main axes and 20 strategies were identified. These final strategies were provided to the experts in order to rank them according to their importance. In the third step, the relative importance of each strategy to the higher strategy was determined and finally, using the degree of importance that the experts considered for each strategy, the final weight and the importance of each one, were obtained.
Results and discussion
Based on the findings and the opinion of experts, the strategies of organizations and institutions, infrastructure and conditions, attitudes and knowledge, and finally, biophilic activities were identified as the most important strategies, respectively. In the present study, strategies have been presented separately for each axis. In order to determine the final weight, the weighting process of these strategies must be done independently. The path coefficient for all paths drawn in the model is more than 1.96, which means that the path is significant and the structural model is appropriate. Among the obtained coefficients, the impact of institutions and organizations on infrastructure with a score of 15.892 and infrastructure on activities with a score of 11.289 have the highest score. After that, the impact of activities and attitudes is in the third place with a coefficient of 8.913. In terms of the main dimensions of research, institutions and organizations with a coefficient of 6.342 have the most significant impact on the pattern of biophilic tourism, and then the infrastructure is in the second place with a coefficient of 312.5. Attitudes and activities are in the third and fourth ranks with a coefficient of 4.314 and 2.20, respectively.
The results indicate that the realization of biophilic tourism in urban spaces will have important results and achievements for cities, such as the ability to enhance the relationship of nature, especially nature-oriented features in the city with the growth of the tourism industry according to the inherent and psychological needs of humans because today's human beings are suffering from urban life and trapped in harsh structures in cities. It will bring ecological balance and stability to cities. Today, the distance from nature in cities, in addition to disturbing the balance of the urban environment, has a negative impact on human thoughts and deprives them of their inherent needs. Biophilic tourism, as one of the forms of ecotourism tourism, tries to establish an inseparable link between humans and the natural environment through various biophilic patterns. This type of tourism can positively affect urban people in terms of thinking, vitality, mental and physical health, while stabilizing the city's ecosystem and preserving and developing biodiversity, and acquaints tourists with the indigenous natural phenomena of each region in terms of usage, characteristics, etc. Also, the implementation and development of sidewalks, green and open spaces in the city will be effective on social and aesthetic sustainability (urban appearance and visual landscape).


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