Document Type : Original Article
Art University of Isfahan, Iran
Purpose-This study follows three major purposes including recognizing the input variables in the development of tea tourism in rural areas of Gilan (Guilan) Province, Iran, and identifying the less strategic and dependent variables for promoting tea tourism in the case study of rural areas of Gilan Province.
Design/methodology/approach- Structural analysis in a foresight study was used in this paper. Firstly, the researchers recognized the key variables for promoting tea tourism in destinations with the help of the systematic literature review method and the extraction variables were categorized in two codes as tourism facilities and services with tea theme, and policy-making for promoting tea tourism.
Finding- The results of structural analysis through Micmac software identified the following variables as influence variables for tea tourism facilities and services: being familiar with tea processing, establishing tea tasting centres, holding tea ceremonies and tea cultural events, and being familiar with tea cuisine. Furthermore, visiting tea gardens and sightseeing, presenting tea culture performances, developing tea museums, creating an innovative tea package, establishing a tea shop/tea auction centre, participating in picking tea leaves, and establishing tea restaurants, hotels and accommodations are known as dependent variables. Moreover, according to the direct influence graph adding tea tourism to tour packages and visiting tea factories were recognized as less strategic variables for development of tea tourism facilities and services. In addition, organizing top to bottom level training and a comprehensive policy framework for tea tourism have the most impact on the system and were identified as input variables for policy-making for promoting tea tourism.
Practical implications- Analysing data through Micmac software illustrated that local participation, preserving the environment ecosystem, developing network activities and training tour guides for tea tourism are dependent variables for policy-making for promoting tea tourism. Lastly, accessibility and marketing are excluded as independent variables for policy-making for promoting tea tourism.