Identification and Analysis of the Social Drivers Governing the Tourism Development Policy of Iranian Cities in the Horizon 2025 with a Future Studies Approach

Document Type : Article extracted From phd dissertation


1 Department of Management, Zanjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan, Iran.

2 Department of Management, Zanjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan, Iran


 A B S T R A C T
Today, tourism is more than an industry, as a global and social dynamic phenomenon with its own complexities. A detailed understanding and scientific analysis of this phenomenon can provide a reliable framework for planning the tourism industry. As the biggest social movement with numerous cultural, economic, and spatial consequences, this industry always needs to make its development effective now and in the future. In this regard, planning for tourism development depends on various factors and conditions, which can be achieved under the condition of their systematic and structured application. This issue shows the importance of future research, the necessity of formulating future visions in the tourism development process, and the social drivers among them. For this purpose, the current research attempts to identify and analyze the critical social drivers affecting tourism development in the horizon 2025. In the following article, 17 primary factors were extracted with the Delphi technique, then the cross-effects matrix of the components was formed using the Delphi method of managers. In the next step, matrix analysis was done with Mic Mac software. The results of the dispersion of the variables in the axis of influence and influence of the factors in the Mic Mac software show the system's stability in tourism development. Accordingly, the findings of the research showed that among the drivers identified, the drivers of the development of participation in tourism, strengthening the knowledge of the residents of areas with tourist attractions regarding the tourism potential of the region, developing local native games, the mental image of the tourist destination, strengthening local institutions in order to invest in tourism, making the local community aware of how to deal with tourists. Increasing the culture of tourism acceptance, the connection between the components of the tourism chain, accommodation facilities, and arranging the influence of natives' opinions in the meetings of people and officials in the media were identified as key drivers.
Extended abstract
In the Comprehensive National Tourism Development Document of Iran, it is stated that Iran ranks fifth in the field of natural attractions and tenth in the field of historical and ancient attractions in the world, and based on forecasts at the end of the sixth development program, which coincides with the twenty-year vision document. Iran should reach 20 million incoming tourists annually. Surveys show that with the current trend governing the country's tourism, we will reach a maximum of 55 million tourists annually. The available statistics show that Iran's share in attracting foreign tourists is insignificant due to its size, history, civilization, and tourist attractions. Therefore, attracting tourists requires the development of the tourism industry in our country and paying attention to the quality of services provided to tourists. With the understanding of the mentioned cases, the central question of the research is:
- What are the social driving forces governing tourism development policy in Iran horizon 2025?
The following article is practical in terms of purpose, and according to the investigated components, the dominant approach is a descriptive-analytical method. The Delphi technique has been exploited to identify variables and indicators. In this research, in order to consciously select the participants, the purposeful sampling method has been exerted. The basis of using the purposeful sampling method is to select a group of experts with an in-depth investigation or a general understanding of the nature of the research questionnaire. Based on the above explanations, the statistical population of the upcoming research is 74 experts in the field of tourism, including experts in the organization Tourism and cultural heritage, and some university professors are experts in the field of study. The experts checked and confirmed the validity of the questionnaire used. The number considered volume for the Delphi technique was 74 people. The sample size for the Mic Mac technique was 43 people, according to the experts' familiarity with this software. Cronbach's alpha was also applied to test the reliability of the research questionnaire. The obtained value was equal to 0.87, which confirmed the reliability of the research questionnaire.
Results and discussion
The factors related to the research were confirmed by the statistical sample using the Delphi technique. In the following, 17 factors have been analyzed with Mic Mac software to extract the main influencing factors. The dimensions of the matrix are 17x17. The degree of filling of the matrix is 82.35%, which shows that the selected factors have a relatively large and scattered effect on each other, and in fact, the system has enjoyed stability. Out of the total of 11560 relationships that can be evaluated in this matrix, 2040 relationships were zero, meaning the factors did not influence or were not influenced by each other 4120 relationships, and their number was one, which means that they had little influence on each other. Also, in 2760 relationships, their number was 2, meaning they had a relatively strong influencing relationship; in 2640 relationships, their number was 3. This means that the relationships between the critical factors have been very high and have had a lot of influence and effectiveness. The results of determining the key drivers showed that ten drivers in the influence column had the most significant contribution to direct influence, and the same ten variables were in the first ten in the indirect influence. These factors are the cultural and social policies of the government based on Mandatory hijab for foreign tourists and some restrictions on social freedoms, such as banning the consumption of alcoholic beverages, strengthening the knowledge of residents of areas with tourist attractions regarding the tourism potential of the region, developing local indigenous games, the mental image of tourist destinations, strengthening local institutions for investment. In tourism, awareness of the local community about how to deal with tourists, increasing the culture of tourism acceptance, a connection between the components of the tourism chain, facilities, and accommodation facilities, arranging the impact of the natives' opinions in the meetings of people and officials in the media.
The results of this research showed that among the drivers identified, the drivers of the cultural and social policies of the government based on the compulsory hijab of foreign tourists and some restrictions on social freedoms such as the ban on the consumption of alcoholic beverages, strengthening the knowledge of the residents of areas with tourist attractions regarding the potential tourism in the region, development of local indigenous games, the mental image of tourism destination, strengthening of local institutions in order to invest in tourism, raising awareness of the local community about how to deal with tourists, increasing the culture of tourism acceptance, the connection between the components of the tourism chain,  facilities residence, the arrangement of influencing the opinions of the natives in the meetings of the people and officials in the media were identified as key drivers. By adopting a future research approach and considering the critical drivers obtained in the current research, the decisions and plans in the tourism industry and the social sphere will be oriented in line with the development of the tourism industry and will be on a targeted path. In the conclusion of this research, it can be acknowledged that the success in achieving the comprehensive goals of tourism in Iran depends on the continuous interaction between critical factors and detailed planning for these drivers. In other words, sufficient attention from the planners to the influencing and driving factors and considering these key factors and the relationships between them will provide the necessary platforms for realizing, developing, and desirable evolution of tourism in the social sphere.
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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