Study Religious Tourism position Mashhad’s in Major Urban documents

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Geography, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran


Considering the situation of Mashhad city, the existence of an integrated plan and program, a large project with a single vision for the development of this city, and attention to the most important element of the development of this city, namely religious tourism, seems necessary. Therefore, the present study seeks to investigate and evaluate the influential factors on religious tourism status in Mashhad. In the present study, the descriptive-analytical method has been used in terms of applied purpose and according to the nature of the research. The data collection method was by completing a questionnaire by experts and experts. The statistical population in the present study, according to the determination of organizations related to the research subject, five senior managers from each organization were considered as a statistical sample, for which a total of 50 people were selected and a non-probabilistic sampling method. A quota with a pre-determined number of samples and experts was used. The study's findings concerning the factors affecting religious tourism in Mashhad show that the variable in the field of tourism management with an average (3.96) has the highest score. Then the physical-infrastructural and economic variables have a higher average (3.74). The socio-cultural variable was in the last rank compared to the other three, with an average of 3.64. Also, in the approved structural model, it was found that the field of tourism management, with a coefficient of 0.86, has had the greatest impact on the development of religious tourism in Mashhad.
Extended abstract
The tourism industry is considered one of the most dynamic and developing sectors of the world economy and an important factor in regions and countries social and economic development. It is considered one of the most dynamic drivers of economic growth and a factor of prosperity in communities with valuable tourism potential. Religious tourism is one of the most significant areas of tourism in the world, providing the most earnings either in the past or in the present. Since the holy court of Samen Al-Hajj is located in Mashhad city, the city is known as the spiritual capital of Iran. The city has numerous tourism capacities in the region and the Islamic world, especially in the Shiites world, and its interactions have increased with other world cities. Thus, from a tourism perspective, the city's urban development plans should provide appropriate tourism infrastructures and propose appropriate solutions based on the existing capacities of the city. As a result, identifying the factors affecting tourism development in this city is essential. Getting these objectives sounds only possible with a proper plan; if possible, it does not provide positive and sustainable results. Despite the necessity of paying attention to religious tourism development by identifying the factors affecting it in Mashhad, known as the world's second-largest religious metropolis, the literature review has yet to be researched on the subject. Therefore, this study tries to identify the most important factors affecting tourism and examine the relationship between the factors affecting it.
The research is applied and descriptive-analytical. The data collection methods used are the library method, as the information was obtained from documents available in libraries and reliable sources on the Internet, and the field method as an observation and a questionnaire were used. The statistical population includes five persons from each relevant organization, and the sample size is 50 persons. Given the sample size, the non-probability quota sampling method was exerted to select from experts. Mashhad is the second largest city in Iran after Tehran, with a population of 3001184 based on the general population and housing census in 2016. The city has three municipal districts. Due to the presence of the shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the city annually receives about 30 million Iranian and foreign pilgrims.
Results and discussion
The research findings show that the variable of tourism management with a coefficient of 0.86 significantly affects the urban development of Mashhad at the confidence level of 99% (the critical ratio is equal to 9.85, which is greater than 2.56). The correlation is positive; therefore, improving development management factors improve religious tourism. The physical-infrastructural variable with a coefficient of 0.76 significantly affects the development of religious tourism in Mashhad at the confidence level of 99% (the critical ratio is equal to 8.83, which is greater than 2.56). The correlation is positive; therefore, the physical-infrastructure improvements contribute to religious tourism. The socio-cultural field variable (0.82) significantly affects tourism development in Mashhad at the confidence level of 99% (the critical ratio is equal to 9.41, which is greater than 2.56). Since the correlation is positive, improving the socio-cultural conditions also improves urban development. The variable of the economic field (0.81) has a significant effect on tourism development in Mashhad at the confidence level of 99% (the critical ratio is equal to 9.39, which is greater than 2.56). Since the correlation is positive, improving the economic field also improves religious tourism.
Examining different theories and perspectives on tourism and related fields, the research results show that institutions, especially managerial ones, play an essential role in guiding the development projects, especially tourism projects. In addition, the urban and regional management institutions play a key role in improving and sustaining tourism in Mashhad. The variable of tourism management (0.86) has the greatest impact on the development of religious tourism in Mashhad, followed by socio-cultural (0.82), economic (0.81), and physical-infrastructural (0.76) variables. Finally, the lack of integrated tourism management and the lack of a comprehensive and unified agreement in all tourism sectors of Mashhad are the main reasons for the current backwardness and weakness of the tourism and urban management sectors in Mashhad.
There is no funding support.
Authors Contribution
Authors contributed equally to the conceptualization and writing of the article. All of the authors approved thecontent of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work declaration of competing interest none.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.


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