Nasser Rezaei; Mohammad Rauf Heidarifar; Khabat Derafshi; Khabat Derafshi
Introduction: Development planners and policymakers consider tourism activities as a key pillar for rural sustainable development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of ecotourism development in Oramanat region with an emphasis on the Bayangan District, trying to answer what are ...
Introduction: Development planners and policymakers consider tourism activities as a key pillar for rural sustainable development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of ecotourism development in Oramanat region with an emphasis on the Bayangan District, trying to answer what are the natural and cultural attractions and facilities available in the Bayangan area for tourism development. Considering the many tourist attractions in Oramanat region, especially the section of Bayangan with having diverse and attractive villages, it is possible to expand rural tourism as a new strategy in the field of rural development, creating new opportunities in rural areas such as job opportunities, reducing immigration, etc., flourish the rural areas, and removed these areas from isolation and deprivation. Material and methods: The methodology of the present study is descriptive-analytic (correlation). The data collection method was documentary-survey and the method of analysis was qualitative-quantitative. The statistical population included families living in the Bayangan District and tourists who came to this area from April to August 2018. Four hundred individuals were selected as statistical population using Morgan table and proportional stratified random sampling due to the uncertainty of the exact number of population. The survey method (descriptive and exploratory surveying method) was used for data collection and a questionnaire was used to collect the required information that was used to answer the research questions. Two researcher-made questionnaires were used, one for residents and the other for tourists. In the descriptive section, frequency table and percentage, mean and standard deviation were used and in terms of inferential statistics level, the Smirnov test was used to determine the normal distribution of variables. One-sample t-test was used to compare the means of the samples with the hypothetical mean. All statistical analyzes were performed using SPSS version 23. Results and discussion: According to the K-S test, all distributions were statistically normal, and the results of the one-sample t-test for the research hypotheses showed that the Bayangan section had significant natural and socio-cultural attractions. The current situation of tourism facilities and services in the Bayangan District is significantly poor. Peoples' acceptance of tourists is significantly good. The expansion of tourism in the Bayangan District will have positive socio-cultural, economic, and environmental effects. Finally, nine factors were identified as barriers to tourism development in the Bayangan District, the most significant obstacle of which was the "lack of standard accommodation and hotels at national and international level for tourist accommodation in the region". Conclusions: According to the results of this study, natural and socio-cultural attractions are the most important tourism development potentials in the Bayangan District. It is suggested that the provincial tourism authorities consider these potentials in planning the region's tourism development plans and base their plans on ecotourism and socio-cultural tourism. In order to develop tourism in the study area, it is necessary to improve the status of tourism facilities and services. Lack of standard accommodation and national/international hotels is a major obstacle for tourism development in the Bayangan District, suggesting that the tourism authorities of the region establish modern and standard hotels and resorts for the accommodation of tourists.