Document Type : Research Article
Assistant Professor of Geography, Payam Noor university, Tehran, Iran
Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran
PhD student in Geography and Urban Planning, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran
Tourism is an expanding activity and one of the most dynamic industries that today has become the third-largest industry in the world after the oil and automobile industry with direct and indirect effects on economic and social growth and development. Therefore, it can be said that tourism has become one of the essential components of economic development and prosperity in most countries. In a dynamic and competitive global market in which new destinations with different competitive advantages emerge, tourism destinations have to analyze the situation of competitors and identify their competitive advantages in comparison with them to find a distinct position and superiority among tourists by announcing these advantages and continue to survive. In this regard, the present study aims to provide tourism development strategies by emphasizing the benefits of competitiveness in Saqez city and trying to clarify this city's position in terms of competitive advantages in the province.
The present study is part of applied and descriptive-analytical in terms of purpose and data collection, respectively. Data collection has been done in two library-documents ways. The study has analyzed five components of tourism in nine cities of Kurdistan province, which has determined the position of each city in terms of having tourism components using the EDAS model. Then, in the META-SWOT software environment, Saqez city is studied with the first three prosperous cities. After determining the existing goals and resources of the city, it defines its competitiveness with other competing cities. finally, the tourism development strategy has been presented in Saqez city.
Results and discussion
The findings showed that in terms of the extent to which cities have tourism indicators, the NDA trend for cities had shown a completely different direction from the PDA. So that Sanandaj had a value of zero in this matrix. The ASI index, which indicates the position of cities in terms of tourism, indicates the top situation of Sanandaj with 0.98 percent, followed by Marivan with 0.41 percent and Bijar with 0.40 percent. Saqez city is in fourth place in terms of tourism indicators with 0.39%. In terms of competitiveness, improving the employment process and branding are two high-level goals for Saqez city. Finally, the research findings showed that the position of Saqez city in terms of competitive power among the cities indicates the third rank after Sanandaj and Marivan. In the strategic map, external resources, capabilities, and factors were analyzed based on three criteria such as a) proximity of resources and capabilities to external factors; b) horizontal and upper side; and d) bubble size. The findings of the present study show that the infrastructure of the relationship between culture and original customs, historical-natural attractions, amenities are among the scarce and inimitable resources in the field of tourism in Saqez city and are among the external factors influencing the tourism trend of the city, which can be pointed to the weakness in identifying the region’s potentials, unwillingness to invest, cultural institutionalization. Communication infrastructure, business-service facilities, resources, and facilities are essential issues regarding appropriateness to the goal.
This study shows that all five indicators are of great importance in the competitive advantages of tourism in Saqez. However, the current situation of these factors is not acceptable at all, considering the existence of various resources and desirable tourist attractions. The competition in the city concerning available resources indicates the average level after Sanandaj and Marivan and is higher than Bijar. The study of internal and external factors has shown weakness in identifying the region’s potentials, cultural institutionalization, and unwillingness to invest at a high level. Finally, according to the strategy map, it should be noted that communication infrastructure for easy access, improvement of business centers - services and amenities for tourists to stay in the region are identified as factors appropriate to the purpose of tourism development. But in the field of external factors, weaknesses in identifying the region’s potentials, unwillingness to invest in the region, and institutionalization of tourism culture have been identified as challenging issues that need policies to address them and turn them into strengths and opportunities. Lack of codified development plans, weakness of superstructures and factors and resources to support and strengthen, poor advertising and marketing, lack of desirable access to destinations and tourist attractions, and other shortcomings have hindered the growth and prosperity of tourism in the region. In this regard, suggestions were made to improve the tourism potential of Saqez city.