Investigation of Factors Affecting Bicycle Tourism in Cities A case study of Tehran city

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


Bicycle tourism is known as one of the branches of tourism that has attracted many fans today. On the other hand, the bicycle as one of the means of urban transportation can provide the possibility of developing cycling tourism as a type of sustainable urban tourism by taking advantage of improved infrastructure and facilities for tourists. The purpose of this research is to identify and prioritize factors affecting bicycle tourism in Tehran. For this purpose, the influence of individual and environment factors related to tourism destination, and factors related to transportation were investigated. In the following, the required information was collected using both library and field methods (using the questionnaire tool) from among the statistical population including tourists and cyclist citizens in Tehran and then gathered data was analyzed using Smart PLS-SPSS software. The results show that among the four main factors, individual factors have the highest impact with the highest average, followed by environmental factors, factors related to tourism destinations, and finally factors related to transportation with the lowest average and impact on the decision to bicycle tourism. Additionally, In the group of environmental factors, the natural environment index has a higher average and is more influential than the other two indices including physical infrastructure environment and cultural environment
Extended Abstract
Urban tourism is one of the oldest forms of tourism and describes the various tourism activities in which the city is the main destination and location. The greater the number of urban attractions, the structure of the urban space is inclined towards tourism. One of the most popular branches of tourism is bike or cycling tourism means recreational cycling from a regular one-day or part of the day to a long-term holiday. Cycling as a home-free recreation activity was the main element of the primary definitions of cycling tourism (or cycling). The use of bicycles and tourism activities along with environmental protection and raising awareness for sustainable development has become a popular travel state. Cycling is used in urban transportation, which enables cycling tourism as a kind of sustainable urban tourism by utilizing infrastructure and improved facilities for cycling tourists. Cycling Tourism has been the focus of many countries because of its positive effects such as economic, environmental and etc. Therefore, this type of tourism can be considered a suitable branch of tourism in Iran and in Tehran; but the amount of bike use can be affected by many factors. The need to pay attention to bicycles as a non -motor vehicles, especially in Tehran's urban streets, is important for urban tourism development, and the use of bicycles and the development of cycling infrastructure can lead to urban tourism development in Tehran in the long run. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors affecting the use of bicycles in recreational trips in Tehran and prioritize them. In fact, the researcher considered the impact of individual factors, environmental factors, factors related to tourism destinations, and transport factors as factors affecting tourism.

This is applied research in terms of objectives and being a descriptive-analytical survey. The statistical population is citizens and tourists cycling in Tehran. The convenient method is used for random sampling. Since the statistical population of the study is unlimited, up to 384 people were selected as the sample of the study for unlimited communities. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed with the formal content validity of Cronbach's alpha for reviewing the reliability of the questionnaire. To test the research hypotheses, Friedman's ranking test and one-sample t-test were used, as well as using the modeling testing techniques, Structural Equation Modeling; the research measurement model was tested by Partial Least Squares Method (PLS). The normality of the variables was investigated with Skewness and kurtosis indicators. SPSS 26 and Smart Pls 3 software was used for analysis.

Results and discussion
 After examining the averages of the factors, it was concluded that individual factors with the highest average have a greater impact on a person's decision to use bicycles and bicycle tourism than other factors. In addition, 3 subsets or indicators were considered for each of the main factors. Among the remaining three factors, i.e. environmental factors, factors related to tourism destinations,s and factors related to transportation; In the group of environmental factors, the index of the natural environment has a higher average and is more influential than the other two indices (physical infrastructure environment and cultural environment). In the group of factors related to the tourist destination, the attraction index of the destination has a higher average and is more important than the other two indices (facilities and cost of services). In the group of factors related to transportation, the infrastructure index has a higher average and more importance than the other two indices (operation and planning). In total, among all the existing indicators, the natural environment index has the highest average and the facility index has the lowest average and importance among the respondents and the studied sample. Also, from the point of view of the studied sample, among the 4 main factors, individual factors have the highest impact with the highest average, followed by environmental factors, factors related to tourism destinations, and finally, factors related to transportation with the lowest average and Influence plays a role in the decision to bicycle tourism.

The results of the studies showed that all four research hypotheses were confirmed. Manafi Azar et al. (2018) and other researchers (Abolhassani et al, 2019) confirm the impact of individual factors on bicycle tourism. Other researchers have also achieved similar results on the impact of environmental factors on tourism selection (Kim et al, 2017: 895-908; Hedstrom, 2016). Previous research has concluded that greater diversity in the attractions of a destination may be of interest to a large number of tourists, and cyclists generally try to focus on a specific destination with natural attractions. In addition, special attention to cyclists' support and providing facilities for their convenience and security can have a significant impact on attracting bicycle tourists to destinations. Regarding the factors related to transportation in the selection of bicycle tourism, researchers believe that transportation has a fundamental connection between tourist-producing areas and tourism destinations. Planning to increase opportunities for safe cycling and creating the necessary facilities can have a huge impact on attracting cyclists. Creating a bicycle infrastructure can induce more cycling and affect cyclists' decisions on cycling tours (Nicketerson et al, 2014:226).
There is no funding support.
Authors Contribution
All of the authors approved thecontent of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.


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