Purpose - Niche tourism refers to how to use a particular tourism product tailored to the needs of a particular segment of the market. Places with niche tourism products are able to achieve a high position and consolidate their future position in the tourism market. This type of tourism helps distinguish tourism products by creating an image of the destination and helping compete in the increasingly crowded environment of the tourism market. This paper investigates and analyzes the niche tourism attractions in Ghaleh Rudkhan tourist destination village using activity-based segmentation, the attitudes of the host community in dealing with niche tourism development, and the ability to implement tourism projects and socio-economic factors influencing tourism development in the region, which eventually offers solutions to overcome the current and potential challenges in the study area. To collect the data, interview-based methods, focus group interviews, individual observations and analysis of the documents obtained from different sources were used.
Design/methodology/approach - A questionnaire was designed and distributed among 383 tourists and 190 rural employees. The data of this study were mainly evaluated using thematic and content analysis methods. Besides, we have also introduced the niche tourism potentials and tourism activities in the region.
Finding - The results show that thanks to the economic and social opportunities, local communities support tourism development in Ghaleh Rudkhan; however, the challenges associated with tourism marketing, event management, uncertainty of private sector investors and environmental issues must be addressed through a participatory approach.
Special interest tourism, Niche tourism, Activity-based segmentation, Participation, Ghaleh Rudkhan tourist destination village
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