Evaluating the effects of coastal tourism on the rural areas of Iranian southern islands based on the villagers survey: Case Study of Loft village, Qeshm Island
Abstract. Coastal tourism is a branch of the tourism industry occurring in the certain areas. In terms of volume and variety, the coastal tourism and recreation show the most developments amongst the entire activities of the coastal and near coastal strips. Given the great potentials of the rural areas, coastal tourism in Loft village can be of high importance in terms of rural revitalization, job and income creation, protecting of diverse natural, historical, cultural heritages and eventually, integrated sustainable rural development. In addition to the positive/negative economic and social outcomes, tourism thriving causes environmental and physical effects. As a result of neglecting these effects, the positive outcomes will be ruined, leading in irreparable damages. Therefore this study was performed aiming at evaluating the social, economic, physical and environmental effects of coastal tourism on the Loft village and its residents. The research method was descriptive-analytical and library-field procedures were used for data collecting. In order to achieve a better understanding and more comprehensive information, 350 questionnaires were randomly completed by rural residents besides the field observations and villagers interviewing. Descriptive-inferential statistical methods such as single sample T and Chi square were used for data analysis and identifying the most impressible positive/negative factors of coastal tourism was performed by Topsis technique. The results indicate the positive economic effects of coastal tourism like job opportunities and income increment in the villagers’ perspective. It has socially enhanced the public awareness whilst incapability of preventing the migration from the village. Furthermore, its ecological and physical effects include environmental pollutions, increased environmental awareness, housing retrofitting and changed housing pattern. Generally speaking, the most positive and negative factors influenced by the coastal tourism are economic and environmental respectively. Finally, the concluding solutions to improve the tourism effects on rural residents and areas are presented.
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