Proposing a Structural Equation Model for Feasibility of Rural Tourism Development (Case study: Gaikan Village of Aligudarz County)

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

Lorestan University

10.22067/jrrp.2021.70789.1015

Abstract

Purpose: Selection of a rural destination plays a special role in the decision making process of rural tourists. Rural destinations are places where tourists respect the identity of rural areas, spend their leisure time visiting natural environments and enjoy authentic traditional cultural experiences. Rural tourism can be considered a country-related experience that includes a wide range of attractions and activities. They may be related to agriculture and might increase opportunities to provide services to local communities. In the same time, they can change the nature of geographical landscapes. Thus, this article aimed to investigate the feasibility of rural tourism development using the structural equation model in Gaikan village of Aligudarz County.
Design/methodology/approach: This is study, in terms applied one, and according to the method, it’s descriptive-analytical. To fulfill the purpose of the study, field study and survey was used. Its reliability was calculated using Cronbach's alpha test for two feasibility components (attractions and capabilities of rural tourism, and obstacles and problems of rural tourism development), were 0.79 and 0.80, respectively, which indicates the good fit of the research tool. The statistical population consisted of three categories of experts, tourists and villagers or 270 people in total (13 experts, 129 tourists and 128 villagers) who were selected by simple random sampling. In order to analyze the data, Exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modeling in SPSS20 and AMOS software were used.
Findings: The findings showed that the most important attractions and tourism capabilities of Gaikan Village are in 4 main categories: cultural and religious attractions, Use of organic product, rural welfare facilities and services and natural attractions. Also, the most important restrictions and obstacles of tourism development in this village are: lack of proper investment, avoidance of using agricultural products and related industries, ignorance of local people about the benefits of tourism, lack of amenities and creating environmental pollution. The last one has a significant relation with tourist development.
Limitations: Lack of proper access to transportation infrastructure, roads, accommodations in the area of Aligudarz County has created limitations for the development of tourism in the study area. Also, access to tourists and key informants of rural issues (statistical population of the study) was one of the problems in the research.
Practical solutions: Due to the lack of transportation, accommodation and public infrastructure in Gaikan Village, establishing the accommodations such as hotels as well as camps are suggested in the region.  It is also necessary to invest in the private and public sectors, to capture the benefits of tourism among the villagers for various fields and places such as: the mobile and Internet network, the offices of active travel and tour agencies in the village, automobile repair shops, insurance offices, local food restaurants and ecotourism resorts.
Originality and Value: The the feasibility of tourism development based on the five components of the tourism is one of the best ways to study this process based on the location of attractions and socio-economic relations of local communities regarding existing realities. This can lead to understanding the tourism process in accordance with the local systems and finally, designing a suitable local model.

Keywords



Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 01 November 2021
  • Receive Date: 03 June 2021
  • Revise Date: 02 October 2021
  • Accept Date: 01 November 2021