Agritourism: A Strategy in the Tourism Sustainable Development of Rural Communities (Case Study: Dulab Village, Kurdistan, Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Art and Architecture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Kurdistan, Iran

2 Master of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Faculty of art and architecture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Kurdistan, Iran


Purpose: Several studies have shown that different forms of rural tourism can have positive and negative economic, social, and environmental effects on the region they occur in. This study aimed to evaluate the economic, social, and ecological effects of agritourism on the development of rural areas. Dulab village in Iran was selected as one of the tourism target villages.
Methods: First, the local community’s economic, social, and environmental needs (n=97) were extracted from the heads of households qualitatively. Then, agritourism was introduced to the local community as a development plan, and tourism’s positive and negative effects were assessed by factor analysis.
Results: According to the present study, most villagers had economic incentives, including job creation, income increase, poverty reduction, creating complementary jobs, selling products without intermediaries, the welfare of the local community, and Empowering rural women to accept tourism and tourism development.
Conclusion: According to the results, since agriculture was the main source of income and occupation of rural people, agritourism was identified as a solution for sustainable development in rural communities, emphasizing the necessity of local community participation.


Ayhan, c. Taşlı, t. Özkök, f. & Tatlı, h. (2020). Land use suitability analysis of rural tourism activities: Yenice, Turkey. Journal of tourism management,76.
Armesto, X.A. (2005). Notas teoricas entorno al concepto de postproductivismo agrario. Investig. geograficas 36, 137-156.
Barbieri, C. (2013). Assessing the sustainability of agritourism in the US: A comparison between agritourism and other farm entrepreneurial ventures. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 21(2), 252–270.
Brandth, B. & Haugen, M.S. (2011). Farm diversification into tourism-implications for social identity? Journal of Rural Studies, 27(1), 35-44.
Calza, F., Go, F. M., Parmentola, A., & Trunfio, M. (2018). European rural entrepreneur and tourism-based diversification: Does national culture matter? International Journal of Tourism Research, 20, 671–683.
Canoves, G. Villarino, M. Priestley, G. K. & Blanco, A. (2004). Rural tourism in Spain: An analysis of recent evolution. Geoforum, 35(6), 755-769.
Canovi, m. (2019). Resistance to agritourism diversification: An analysis of winery owners’ identities. journal of Tourism Management Perspectives, 32.
Carbone, A. & Senni, S.(2010). Consumers’ attitude toward ethical food: evidence from social farming in Italy. In: Dessin, J., Bock, B.B. (Eds.), The Economics of Green Care in Agriculture. Loughborough University, Loughborough, pp. 76-77.
Daugstad, K. Ringdal, S. Rønningen, K. & Skar, B. (2002). Agriculture and Cultural Heritage: A State of the Art. Report on Research Based Knowledge 7. Centre for Rural Research, Trondheim.
Dinis, I. Simões, o. Cruz, g. & Teodoro, a. (2019). Understanding the impact of intentions in the adoption of local development practices by rural tourism hosts in Portugal. Journal of Rural Studies, 72, 92_103.
Dubois, C. Cawley, M. & Schmitz, S. (2017). The tourist on the farm: A ‘muddled’ image. J. Tourism Management. 59, 298-311.
Evans, N.J. & Ilbery, B.W. (1992). Farm-based accommodation and the restructuring of agriculture: Evidence from three English counties. Journal of Rural Studies, 8(1), 85e96.
Figueiredo, E. (2008). Imagine there’s no rural. The transformation of rural spaces into places of nature conservation in Portugal. Eur. Urban Reg. Stud. 15 (2), 159–171.
Flanigan, S. Blackstock, K. & Hunter, C. (2015). Generating public and private benefits through understanding what drives different types of agritourism. J. Rural Stud. 41, 129–141.
Garrod, B. Wornell, R. & Youell, R. (2006). Re-conceptualising rural resources as countryside capital: the case of rural tourism. J. Rural Stud. 22, 117–128.
Gartner, W.C. (2004). Rural tourism development in the USA. International Journal of Tourism Research, 6(3), 151-164.
Getz, D. & Carlsen, J. (2000). Characteristics and goals of family and owner-operated businesses in the rural tourism and hospitality sectors. Tourism Management, 21, 547–560.
Guirado, c. Valldeperas, n. Tulla, a. Sendra, l. Badia, a. Evard, c. Cebollada, a. Espluga, j. Pallares, I. & Vera, a. (2017). Social farming in Catalonia: Rural local development, employment opportunities and empowerment for people at risk of social exclusion. Journal of Rural Studies, 56, 180_197.
Hall, D.R. Roberts, L. Mitchell, M. (2005). New Directions in Rural Tourism. Ashgate, Hants.
Hashemi, N. & Ghaffari, Gh. (2017). A Proposed Sustainable Rural Development Index (SRDI): Lessons from Hajij village, Iran. journal of tourism management.
Hoefle, s. (2016). Multi-functionality, juxtaposition and conflict in the Central Amazon: will tourism contribute to rural livelihoods and save the rainforest? J. Rural Stud. 44, 24.
Kim, s. lee, s. lee, d. jeong, j. & moon, j. (2019). The effect of agritourism experience on consumers’ future food purchase patterns. journal of tourism management, 70, 144_152.
Lane, B. (2009). Rural tourism: An overview. In T. Jamal, & M. Robinson (Eds.), The Sage handbook of tourist studies (pp. 354e370). London: Sage.
Lee, A. Wall, G. & Kovacs, J. (2015). Creative food clusters and rural development through place branding: culinary tourism initiatives in Stratford and Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. J. Rural Stud. 39, 133–144.
Lesauvage, B.(1995). La demande en matière d’agritourisme. In: Agritourisme et développement local. Actes 3. Institut de recherche et d’études supérieures du tourisme, Paris.
Lupi, c. Giaccio, v. Mastronardi, l. Giannelli, a. & Scardera, a. (2017). Exploring the features of agritourism and its contribution to rural development in Italy. journal of land use policy,64, 383_390.
MAFSC. (2015). Agricultural Statistics. Available. (Accessed 20 July 2015).
Marcotte, P. Bourdeau, L. & Doyon, M. (2006). Agrotourisme, agritourisme et tourisme à la ferme? Une analyse comparative. Teoros - Rev. Res. Tour. 25 (3), 59–67.
Marsden, T. (1995). Beyond agriculture? Regulating the new rural spaces. J. Rural Stud.11, 285-296.
Marsden, T. (1998). Economic perspectives. In: Ilbery, B. (Ed.). The Geography of Rural Change, Harlow, pp. 13–30 (UK: Longman).
Mastronardi, L. & Cipollina, M. (2009). Una riflessione sulla sostenibilità del turismo rurale alla luce dei legami tra agricoltura, turismo e ambiente. Riv. Econ. Agraria 64 (1-2), 195–224.
Mastronardi, L. Giaccio, V. Giannelli, A. & Scardera, A. (2015). Is agritourism eco-friendly? A comparison between agritourism and other farms in Italy using farm accountancy data network dataset. SpringerPlus 4 (1), 1–12.
McGehee, N.G. & Kim, K. (2004). Motivation for agri-tourism entrepreneurship. Journal of Travel Research, 43, 161–170.
McGehee, N.G. (2007). An agritourism systems model: A Weberian perspective. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 15(2), 111–124.
Molanaei, S., Soleimani, S. (2016), Recognizing the original identity components of native Iranian architecture in the country's west (case study: Oraman Kurdistan). Armanshahr Journal, No. 17, pp. 115-127 (In person).
OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). (2006). The New Rural Paradigm: Policies and Governance. OECD, Paris, France.
Randelli, F. & Martellozzo, F. (2019). Is rural tourism-induced built-up growth a threat to the sustainability of rural areas? The case study of Tuscany. J. Land Use Policy. 86, 387–398.
Rivera, M. Knickel, K. De los Rios, I. Ashkenazy, A. Paers, D. Chebach, T. & Sumane, S. (2018). Rethinking the connections between agricultural change and rural prosperity: a discussion of insights derived from case studies in seven countries. J. Rural Study. 59, 242–251.
Roberts, L. & Hall, D. (2001). Rural Tourism and Recreation: Principles to Practice. CABI, Wallingford.
Sanches-Pereira, a. Onguglo, b. Pacini, h. G_omez, m. Coelho, s. & Muwanga, m. (2017). Fostering local sustainable development in Tanzania by enhancing linkages between tourism and small-scale agriculture. Journal of Cleaner Production, 162, 1567_1581.
Saxena, G., Clark, G., Oliver, T., Ilbery, B. (2007). Conceptualising integrated rural tourism. Tour. Geogr. 9, 347–370.
Saxena, G. & Ilbery, B.(2008). Integrated rural tourism. A border case study. Ann. Tour. Res. 35, 233–254.
Sgroi, F. Donia, E. & Marcello Mineo, A. (2018). Agritourism and local development: A methodology for assessing the role of public contributions in the creation of competitive advantage. Land Use Policy, 77, 676–682
Sharpley, R. & Vass, A. (2006). Tourism, farming and diversification: An attitudinal study. Tourism Management, 27, 1040–1052.
Silva, D. Figueiredo, E. Eusebio, C. & Carneiro, M.J. (2016). The countryside is worth a thousand words e Portuguese representations on rural areas. J. Rural Stud. 44, 77–88.
Su, B. (2011). Rural tourism in China. Tourism Management, 32(6), 1438–1441.
Srisomyong, N. & Meyer, D. (2015). Political economy of agritourism initiatives in Thailand. J. Rural Stud. 41, 95–108.
Szumelda, a.(2019). Agriculture and everyday realities on small farms–An entrepreneurial challenge to farmers between the desire for autonomy and a secure existence. Two examples from east and south-east Poland. J. Rural Stud. 67, 57–68.
Tew, C. & Barbieri, C. (2012). The perceived benefits of agritourism: The provider’s perspective. Tourism Management, 33, 215–224.
UNWTO, 2015. Tourism and Poverty Alleviation. Available. (Accessed 20 July 2015).
Van Der Ploeg, J.(2018). From de-to repeasantization: the modernization of agriculture revisited. J. Rural Stud. 61, 236–243.
Vivas, E.(2010). El consum agroecologic a l'Estat espanyol: una opcio política. In: Medina, F.X. (Ed.), Reflexions sobre les alimentacions contemporanies. De les biotecnologies als productes ecologics. Editorial UOC, Barcelona.
Vogt, L.(2013). The economic side of agrotourism: business performance and competitive factors. Econ. Agro-alimentare 15 (3), 77–102.
Weaver, D.B. & Fennell, D.A. (1997). The vacation farm sector in Saskatchewan: A profile of operations. Tourism Management, 18, 357–365.