Spatial Analysis of the Indicators of Rural Eco-resorts (Case Study: Sari County, Iran)

Document Type : Original Article


Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University


Purpose: The development of eco-resorts is important for accommodation of domestic and foreign tourists, so their quality of indicators should be improved, regardless of its economic approach.  The purpose of this study is to spatially analyze the status of rural eco-resorts in Sari, so the present study seeks to answer these key questions: 1- What is the current status of rural eco-resorts indicators? 2- What is the level of the studied villages in terms of eco-resorts indicators?
Methodology: The current study is descriptive-analytical and applied in terms of approach and aim, respectively.  Documentary and field study methods were used to obtain the required data.  The statistical population of this study consists of two groups, the first group, included experts in tourism who were selected with census method, and consequently, 15 people in total. The second group included tourists who have stayed in these eco-resorts. According to the Cochran's formula, with an error value of 0.07, 181 questionnaires were completed randomly. In order to analyze the data, descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation and variance), inferential (one-sample t-test) and VIKOR method were used.
Findings/results: Findings of the study showed that based on the significance level of the one-sample test, there is a significant relationship and difference between 7 indicators of the research. Late Letkan & Late Leteka, Tapurestan and Miansheh ranked first to third, and eco-resorts in Mah Joon (Q = 0.785), Senam and Saray Khan (Q = 0.828) had the lowest ranks. Therefore, it can be said that the resorts, which are at an acceptable level in terms of the studied indicators, have appropriate facilities and services in eco-resorts.


Alvani, S. M., & Dehdashti, Z. (1373/1994). Principles and foundations of tourism. Tehran: Mostazafan Foundation of the Islamic Revolution. [In Persian].
Anabestani, A. A., Giyahi, H., & Javanshiri, M. (1396/2017). Analysis of the effects of eco-tourism on the development of rural settlements, Radkan village, Chenaran County, Spatial Planning, 29, 24-1. [In Persian]. Doi: 10.22108/sppl.2018.108017.1132.
Andriotis, K. (2002). Scale of hospitality firms and local economic development: evidence from Crete. Tourism Management, 23 (4), 333-341.
Atazadeh, E., & Mahmoudi Zarandi, M. (1396/2017). Investigating the impact of local environmental design on rural tourism, case study: Aras Region. Journal of Research in Science, Engineering and Technology, 3(3), 18-35. [In Persian].
Bozarjemehri, Kh. (1396/2018). Development of ecotourism resorts in the country, provinces and Ferdows County. Conference of Regional Tourism Capacities and Development of Ferdows County, March 13 & 14, Toos City. [In Persian].
Brandth, B., & Haugen, M. S. (2012). Farm tourism and dilemmas of commercial activity in the home. Hospitality & Society, 2(2), 179-196. Doi:10.1386/hosp.2.2.179_1.
Bunruamkaew, K., Murayama, Y. (2012). Land use and natural resources planning for sustainable. Ecotourism using GIS in Surat Thani, Thailand. Sustainability, 4(3), 412–429.
Chen, C. C., Petrick, J. F., & Shahvali, M. (2016). Tourism experiences as a stress reliever: Examining the effects of tourism recovery experiences on life satisfaction. Journal of Travel Research, 55(2), 150-160.
Cobbinah, P. B., Amenuvor, D., Black, R., & Peprah, C. (2017). Ecotourism in the Kakum Conservation Area, Ghana: Local politics, practice and outcome, Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, (20), 34-44.
Das, M., & Chatterjee, B. (2015), Ecotourism: A panacea or a predicament? Tourism Management Perspectives. 14, 3-16.
Fatimah, T. (2015). The impacts of rural tourism initiatives on cultural landscape sustainability in Borobudur area. Procedia Environmental Sciences, (28), 567-577.
Fung, T., & Wong, F.K.K. (2007). Ecotourism planning using multiple criteria evaluations with GIS. Geocarto International, 22 (2), 87–105. Doi: 10.1080/10106040701207332.
Giannakis, E. (2014). The Role of Rural Tourism on the Development of Rural Areas: the case of Cyprus, Romanian Journal of Regional Science, 2014, 8(1), 38-53. p38-53.html
Hajinejad, A., Fattahi, A., & Paidar, A. (1394/2015). Application of models and decision-making techniques in geography (with emphasis on rural, urban and tourism planning). Tehran: ACECR. [In Persian].
Hawkins, D. E. (2004). A protected areas ecotourism competitive cluster approach to catalyse biodiversity conservation and economic growth in Bulgaria. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 12(3), 219-244.
Jaafar, M; & Maideen, S. A. (2012). Ecotourism-related products and activities, and the economic sustainability of small and medium island chalets. Tourism Management, 33(3), 683-691.
Jafari, J. (2000). Encyclopedia of tourism. London: Routledge. 10.1007/978-3-319-01384-8
Jeong, J. S., García-Moruno, L., Hernández-Blanco, J., Javier Jaraíz-Cabanillas, F. (2014). An operational method to supporting siting decisions for sustainable rural second home planning in ecotourism sites. Land Use Policy, 41, 550–560.
Johns, N., & Mattsson, J. (2005). Destination development through entrepreneurship: a comparison of two cases. Tourism Management, 26 (4), 605-616.
Kapiki S. (2012). Implementing Sustainable Practices in Greek Ecofriendly Hotels, Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology, 13(2A), 1117-1123.
Lenao, M., & Basupi, B. (2016). Ecotourism development and female empowerment in Botswana: A review. Tourism Management Perspectives, 18, 51-58.
Maleki, S., Parvizban, A., & Ahmadi, H. (1396/2017). Measuring the efficiency and ranking of natural indicators and tourism infrastructure in the cities of Ilam province, using regression analysis and hierarchical analysis TOPSIS. Ilam Culture, 18(54-55), 7-22. [In Persian]. 375523.
Mirzadeh Koohshahi, M., & Dehghani, A. (1395/2016). The role of ecotourism potential in attracting tourists in Bandar Abbas. Hormozgan Cultural Research Journal, 11, 11-24. [In Persian].
Rebecca, Ch., Rose, B., & Bor, T. (2015). Eco-Lodges, a Future for Sustainable Tourism in
Kenya. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Sports, 8, 38-41.
Roshanali M., & Riahi, V. (1396/2017). The role of eco-tourism in rural economic development (A case study of Panjj Hezareh Rural District of Behshahr).  Journal of Tourism Space, 7(25), 51-65. [In Persian].
Rostampisheh, M., Nasir Salami, S. M., & Tizghalam Zonouzi, S. (1398/2019). An evaluation and comparative analysis of physical structures in eco-tourism resorts (Case study: Telarkhaneh Bordbar and Deylmay Gasht; Guilan province). Journal of Physical Development Planning, 4(14), 111-132. [In Persian]. Doi: 10.30473/psp.2019.6071.
Salehi, S., Ebrahimi, L., & Fattahi, N. (1397/2018). Local Participation and Ecotourism Development, Case Study: Janat Rudbar village. Journal of Environmental Education and Sustainable Development, 6(3), 121-136. [In Persian].
Tsaur, S. H., Lin, Y. C., & Lin, J. H. (2006). Evaluating ecotourism sustainability from the integrated perspective of resource, community and tourism. Tourism management, 27(4), 640-653.
Sojasi Ghidari, H., & Sadeghloo, T. (1395/2016). Analysis and explanation of the role of environmental quality in attracting tourism to rural tourism destinations, a case study: Tourist villages of Lavasan Rural District. Geographical Research,31(121), 31-49. [In Persian].
Stronza, A., & Gordillo, J. (2008). Community view of Ecotourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 35(2), pp. 448-468.
Tavaklan, A., & Davari, E. (1396/2018), Ecotourism resorts an opportunity for sustainable development, case study: ecotourism capacities of East Azerbaijan Province. International Conference on New Research in Civil Engineering, Architecture, Urban Management and Environment, January 6, Karaj. [In Persian].
Tavalaee, S. (1385/2006). Some aspects of ecotourism with particular emphasis on Golestan Province tourism atteraction. Ecotourism with emphasis on tourist attractions of Golestan province. Geographical Research, 38(58), 101-113. [In Persian].
Vossoughi, L., & Shamsi Marbini, N. (1394/2016). Assessing Factors Affecting Success of Green Accommodations.  Tourism Studies, 10(32), 67-87. [In Persian].
Weaver, D. (2001). Ecotourism as mass tourism: contradiction or reality? The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant. Administration Quarterly, 42, 104–112.
Xing, H. (2013). Perception of Green Hotels Among Tourists in Hong Kong, (Unpublished master’s thesis). Hong Kong Baptist University.
Yaghoubi, N. M., Morad Zadeh, A., & Arab, A. (1397/2018). Evaluation of the effects of ecotourism empowering components on the network of beneficiaries, Iranian journal of management sciences, 13(50), 82-103. [In Persian].
Yılmaz, Y., Üngüren, E., & Kaçmaz, Y. Y. (2019). Determination of Managers’ Attitudes towards Eco-Labeling Applied in the Context of Sustainable Tourism and Evaluation of the Effects of Eco-Labeling on Accommodation Enterprises, Sustainability, 11(18), 5069.
Yusof, Z. B., & Jamaludin, M. (2013). Green approaches of Malaysian green hotels and resorts, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 85, 421-431.