The role of cultural tourism in reviving socio-cultural values of Tabriz historical market

Document Type : Article extracted From phd dissertation


1 PhD Student in Architecture, Department of Architecture, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.


Iranian markets, as a place with heritage values, have a unique capacity and potential to attract tourists. However, the lack of proper protection of this heritage and neglect of them, has caused the decline of some values and capabilities in these valuable assets and national wealth and, consequently, the decline of tourism. Meanwhile, the historical bazaar of Tabriz, as one of the most valuable Iranian bazaars, is located on the historical Silk Road and has been registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. With the registration of Tabriz Bazaar in the World Heritage List, while promoting the culture and society of the country and the region in the world, a large number of tourists have traveled to Iran to visit. Despite the role and importance of this cultural heritage and architecture in the development of the tourism industry, especially cultural tourism, the necessary protection measures were not taken to protect the concepts and values hidden in this historical monument. Understanding the above, the purpose of this study is to investigate the role of cultural tourism in reviving the socio-cultural values of the historical market of Tabriz, which in order to achieve this goal, the research questions are as follows:
‌What are the traditional social and cultural aspects of Tabriz Bazaar?
-Which category has the most significant impact on the cultural and social values of the study area?

The present study is based on a qualitative-quantitative method and aims to revive the socio-cultural values of the historical market of Tabriz with an emphasis on the development of cultural tourism. The method of collecting qualitative data has been based on library resources and field inquiries. The research community includes merchants and market residents, citizens, tourists, and experts. According to 40 types of jobs available in the traditional market of Tabriz, 80 residents and businesses (2 people per class) were selected for interview based on a stratified random sampling method. Citizens and tourists were selected based on a simple random sampling method with a limited sample size of about 25 people per group. The other group of interviewees are experts and specialists familiar with the subject, which includes active employees in the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Tabriz. In interviews with experts, individuals have been purposefully selected who have sufficient information on the subject and research context of the research (Tabriz Bazaar), which includes a total of 20 people. The interviews with the selected statistical groups continued until the stage of theoretical saturation, so that the interviews went so far that the newly collected data were no different from the previously collected data, and in the process of analyzing research data, a descriptive-analytical approach is used to examine the information obtained from the theoretical literature of the subject, and the coding and categorization method is used to analyze the results of field interviews. In this research, Smart-PLS software has been used to analyze quantitative findings.

Results and discussion
Based on the interviews, about 180 codes were identified and counted. The data obtained from the code analysis led to the extraction of about 50 components for the selected statistical population, which is divided into 8 main groups or categories (structure, dynamics, social system, satisfaction, attitude, mirrors, religion, laws). It is worth mentioning that the total opinions of the two groups responding to citizens and tourists, as well as businessmen and experts, were almost close to each other. Meanwhile, in some categories, the opinions of all four statistical groups have been the same and similar to each other.
The results also showed that the value of t-statistic obtained for social-related factors, such as the structure factor equals 19.106, the dynamic factor equals 21.587, the social system factor equals 11.359, and the satisfaction factor equals 933.13. For cultural factors, such as the attitude factor equals 4.428, the religion factor equals 16.634, the religion factor equals 12.823, and the laws factor equals 5.206, so that the obtained values are more than 1.96. Therefore, the effect of these factors on social and cultural factors is confirmed. In addition, considering the value of the obtained path coefficient, among the desired factors related to social, the structural factor with a path coefficient of 0.467 has the most significant effect. The religion factor of 0.455 has the highest path coefficient of the cultural factors.

Despite the multiplicity of values embedded in cultural heritage and architecture, the emphasis of the present study has been on reviving the socio-cultural values of Tabriz Bazaar, which in order to achieve this important, semi-structured interviews were done with four statistical groups, including merchants and bazaar residents, tourists, citizens of Tabriz, and experts. The findings indicate that while identifying the socio-cultural values of the traditional market of Tabriz and then determining the damaged values and the type of damage, strategies can be implemented to restore the lost values of this historical market presented by the selected community. It should be noted that preserving and reviving the value system of the traditional market of Tabriz, while ensuring the continuity of life and creating grounds for the survival of the work, paves the way for attracting tourists, and consequently the development of cultural tourism. By identifying the valuable dimensions of cultural heritage and architecture and the role of these values in the life and continuity of historical collections, it is expected that the custodians and administrators of the protection of historical monuments, more attention to the application of value-based conservation methods in Iranian historical-cultural heritage collection. Other results of this study can be pointed out that among the desired factors related to social, the structural factor with a path coefficient of 0.467 has the greatest impact. The factor of religion, among the cultural factors, has the highest coefficient of path (0.455).