The Impact of City Identity Factors on Tourism Development the Case Study of Shiraz city

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Geographical Sciences and Planning, Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Geography and Tourism Planning, Faculty of Geographical Sciences and Planning, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran



Every city has environmental, cultural, social and physical characteristics that give identity to cities. The identity characteristics of each city play an undeniable role in developing tourism. The study aims to identify and evaluate the factors of urban identity affecting the tourism development in Shiraz city. The research method is descriptive-analytical and was done in a survey way. The statistical population of the research was 315 tourists, who were selected using a simple random sampling method. The data were collected using a researcher-designed questionnaire. The content method was exerted for the validity of the questionnaire and the Cronbach's alpha method was applied to measure the reliability of the questionnaire, and the alpha coefficient was calculated as 0.872. For data analysis, SPSS software and factor analysis, one-sample t-test, ANOVA and Duncan tests were used. Using factor analysis, 13 urban identity factors affecting tourist attraction and tourism development in Shiraz city were identified. Also, the findings indicated that the two factors of historical monuments of different eras (4.57), and celebrities, mystics and writers (4.42) are the most important factors of urban identity affecting the tourism development in Shiraz city, and urban infrastructure (2.36) had the least impact. Therefore, it is suggested that urban planners emphasize preserving all the historical, cultural, literary, natural and physical identity factors of the city, and by using all the identity factors, try to introduce the city and develop sustainable tourism
Extended Abstract
In planning and developing tourism of urban destinations, the city identity is essential. Place identity includes cultural, physical and environmental entities that distinguish a particular place from others. Urban areas have several characteristics that distinguish them from other cities. These features represent the city identity and include historical monuments, historical objects, cultural activities and unique local products. City identity is significant for tourism development and can be one of the most important factors in attracting tourists. The natural, cultural, historical, literary and physical features of each city play an effective role in giving identity to the city and are recorded in the memory of tourists. The more these features are well-known, they can play a more prominent role in attracting tourists and developing tourism, so the role of the identity factors of cities in attracting tourists and developing urban tourism is one of the important issues that should be considered. Shiraz is one of the urban tourism destinations of the country, which annually hosts many domestic and foreign tourists. Shiraz has many historical monuments with rich architectural styles related to different historical periods. Also, Shiraz is known as a creative literary city in the world. Therefore, it is important to identify factors of urban identity that are effective in the tourism development of Shiraz. Therefore, the study attempts to identify and evaluate the factors of urban identity affecting the tourism development in Shiraz.
The current research is applied in terms of its purpose and descriptive-analytical in terms of nature, and it was carried out in a survey manner and with a quantitative method. The research location of Shiraz city and the statistical population of the research is 315 tourists who visited Shiraz city. A researcher-designed questionnaire was used to collect data. First, on review of the literature, measurement items were extracted and then classified into five socio-cultural, historical, literary, natural, and physical dimensions, and based on that, a research questionnaire was designed. Questionnaire variables were measured in 5-point Likert scales of very low (1) to very high (5). To measure the validity of the questionnaire, content validity and opinions of several professors in the field of tourism were used. SPSS software and descriptive (percentage and mean) and inferential statistical tests, including exploratory factor analysis, one-sample t-test, ANOVA, and Duncan tests, were used to analyze the data.
Results and Discussion
The findings based on the factor analysis model show that 13 identity factors in Shiraz city are effective in attracting tourists and developing tourism, including 'local culture and security', 'souvenirs and handicrafts', 'religious attractions', 'historical monuments of different periods', 'historical neighborhoods and axes', 'celebrities, mystics and writers', 'literary works and music', 'distinct and unique natural features', 'urban natural spaces', 'suitable climate', 'urban infrastructure', 'physical characteristics of accommodation, catering and entertainment centers', 'physical structure of the city'. In order to evaluate the effect of city identity factors on Shiraz tourism development, factors obtained from factor analysis were analyzed using a one-sample t-test. Out of 13 identified factors, except for 'urban infrastructures' and 'physical characteristics of accommodation, catering and entertainment centers', the average of other factors has been evaluated higher than the optimal level. Duncan's test was used to determine the difference between the factors and their classification in terms of their influence on tourism development, and the 13 identified urban identity factors were divided into five groups. The results show that the two identity factors, ' historical monuments of different eras' and 'celebrities, mystics and writers', are the most important urban identity factors affecting the tourism development in Shiraz. Tourists are more familiar with the monuments and buildings of different periods, including the buildings of different periods, Zandiye historical complex, various historical houses, historical gardens, and mystics and poets such as Hafez and Saadi. The main goal of many tourists to Shiraz is to visit the historical and literary monuments.
The research aims to identify and evaluate urban identity factors affecting Shiraz's tourism development. The results show that Shiraz is more known for its historical and literary identity, and these factors have played the greatest role in attracting tourists and developing tourism in Shiraz. However, the identity of any city is dependent on all its historical, cultural, literary, environmental and physical components, so city managers must emphasize the preservation and dynamics of all historical, cultural, literary, natural and physical identity factors of the city. The findings of this study will be useful for tourism planners to better understand the urban identity factors affecting tourism, which can be used for future planning of urban tourism development and better introduction and presentation of identity factors to tourists.
There is no funding support.
Authors’ Contribution
The authors contributed equally to the conceptualization and writing of the article. All of the authors approved the content of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work.
Conflict of Interest
The Authors declared no conflict of interest.
The authors appreciate to all the scientific consultants of this paper.


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