مشارکت تورگردانها و عرضهکنندگان محلی آموزش دیده و مجرب در زمینه جذب گردشگر و توسعه زیرساختها، در افزایش میزان درآمد و ثروت نسلها و درنتیجه پایداری و توسعه سکونتگاههای مسیر و مقصد گردشگری مؤثر است. با اینوجود، به دلایل مختلفی اهمیت و جایگاه مشارکت آنان تشخیص داده نشده است. بدینترتیب، در سیاستگذاریهای کلان اقتصادی و گردشگری آن چنان که باید مورد توجه قرار نگرفته است. مقاله حاضر مشکلات زیرساختی و موانع در زمینه ارتقای توانمندی تورگردانها و عرضهکنندگان محلی را در منطقهی تهران و البرز آشکار میسازد. بنابراین، این تحقیق به شیوه توصیفی ـ تحلیلی از طریق 128 نمونه تصادفی تورگردان و عرضه کنندگان محلی و 100 نمونه تصادفی سکونتگاه مسیر و مقصد به مطالعه نقش تورگردانها در پایداری و توسعه سکونتگاهها از هر دو دیدگاه تورگردانها و ساکنان محلی پرداخته است. برای سنجش متغیرها سطح توسعه یافتگی سکونتگاهها تعداد 65 شاخص در چارچوب 4 معیار نظام محیطی، نظام اجتماعی ـ اقتصادی و کالبدی سنجیده شده است. در ارتباط با مؤلفه اثرگذار توانمندی و مشارکت تورگردانها تعداد 36 شاخص در قالب 6 معیار اجتماعی و فرهنگی، فنآوری اطلاعات، آموزش و اطلاع رسانی، اقتصادی، کالبدی و سیاستگذاری سنجیده شده است. نتایج نشان میدهد که ظرفیتهای تورگردانها و عرضهکنندگان محلی در توسعه عملکرد گردشگری پاک و ارتقای سطح توسعهیافتگی سکونتگاهها مؤثر است. بنابراین، توجه به ارتقای شاخصهای ظرفیتمندی و تواناسازی تورگردانها در قالب تشکلهای تورگردانی، و سیاستگذاری برای دخالت آنان در گسترش زیرساختهای اقامتی و پذیرایی و زیرساختهای رفاهی و پشتیبان گردشگری پیشنهاد میگردد.
The Impact of Cooperation of Tour Operators in Sustainability and Development of Local Settlements (Case study: Tehran and Alborz Regions)
Extended Abstract Cooperation of trained and professional tour operators and local tourism suppliers in attracting tourists and developing infrastructures can contribute to increasing the income rate and wealth of generations, and consequently the stability and development of the settlements in tourism route and destination. However, their importance and role have not been recognized for various reasons. Therefore, it has not been properly considered in macroeconomic policies and tourism. This article shows the infrastructural problems and obstacles on the promoting empowerment of tour operators and local tourism suppliers in Tehran and Alborz. This descriptive- analytical study was carried out to determine the role of tour operators in sustainability and development of settlements from two views- tour operators and local residents. In this study, 128 tour operators, local tourism suppliers, and 100 settlements in tourism route and destination were randomly selected. To assess the level of settlements development, 65 indicators have been measured within four criteria including environmental, social, economic and physical. Also, to assess the affective component of tour operators’ cooperation and their empowerment, 36 indicators have been measured within six criteria including socio-cultural, information technology, training and information, economic, physical, and policy-making. The results showed that capacities of tour operators and local tourism suppliers were effective in the development of ecotourism and promoting the level of settlements development. Given these findings, it is suggested to pay attention to promoting the indicators of capability and empowerment of tour operators within the framework of tourism organizations and policymaking to involve them in the development of tourism infrastructures including accommodation, catering, recreational and support services.
Introduction Experienced and trained tour operators and local tourism suppliers who are familiar with attractions and culture of local inhabitants can introduce a friendly and constructive cultural relationship between tourists and rural and urban inhabitants through cooperation, training, learning and common perception in connection with the clean environment and native culture of tourism centers. This not only increases the tourists’ attraction but also results in socio-economic sustainability of tourism and orientation towards sustainable development through the increasing attractiveness of tourism destinations (Selanniemi, 2003:6) In this regard, despite the relatively high expansion in the number of tour agencies in Tehran and Alborz during the last decades, tour operators and local tourism suppliers are facing several challenges to cooperate in attracting tourists and developing tourism infrastructures due to the lack of attention from the respective tourism organizations. The challenges are mainly focused in necessary and appropriate training to introduce tourism attractions and tour operators in Tehran and empowering them. Lack of policies in cooperation between tour operators and local tourism suppliers for investment in environmentally friendly accommodation and catering infrastructures, and also the lack of close relations between tour operators and investors in tourism destinations, and, generally, ignoring their capacities and capabilities have resulted in lack of training, guidance and necessary control of tourists in relation with the clean environment and its protection. These issues have caused problems in sustainability and socio-economic development of settlements in tourism route and destination in Tehran and Alborz.
Materials and Methods A descriptive-analytical study was carried out to determine the role of contribution of tour operators and local tourism suppliers in sustainability and development of the settlements in tourism route and destination in Tehran and Alborz. The sample included 128 tour operator's offices and local tourism suppliers, as well as 100 local officials and trustees from 100 rural settlements, selected by multistage sampling. Cochran’s formula was used to determine the sample size, at a 95% confidence level, variance estimation of 25%, and possible precision of 5%. Data were collected by a questionnaire. Discussion and Results The findings showed that 91.4 % of the tour operators and local tourism suppliers completed the training courses related to their activities. Also, 47.1 % of them passed technical management and tour leader course, 15.7 % passed ticket sales course, 30 % passed tour leader course and 7.2% passed technical management, ticket sales and tour leader course.
Assessment of the impact of tour operators’ cooperation in relation to the level of settlements development from the viewpoint of tour operators The level of settlements development in tourism route and destination was measured using the total environmental, socio-cultural, economic, infrastructural and physical indices. Each of the indices were calculated based on the average responses of tour operators and local tourism suppliers to the questions designed on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (very low) to 5 (very high). Final assessment of the impact of tour operators’ cooperation on the settlements development Finally, based on the standardized coefficients of the effect of independent variables on dependent variables, the results showed that the cooperation of tour operators and local tourism suppliers had a significant effect on the levels of settlements development in tourism route and destination. Also, according to coefficients of the effect of variables on the settlements development in the existing conditions, training and information characteristics variable had the most significant effect (effect coefficient of 0.835) on the settlements development. Other factors affecting the settlements development in tourism route and destination were socio-cultural status, information technology, and economic status with the coefficients of effect of 0.789, 0.757 and 0.694, respectively. Thus, according to the tour operators and local tourism suppliers, in the existing conditions, all the four factors had positive effects on the settlements development in tourism route and destination and resulted in sustainability of the tourism destination. Moreover, based on the findings of local respondents questionnaire, there was a significant relationship between the role of tour operators and local tourism suppliers with the level of settlements development (p=0.000). In fact, tour operators and local tourism suppliers were considered as one of the factors affecting the development besides other factors that contributed to the development of settlements and tourism centers in tourism route and destination by administering the tours. Thus, by comparing the questionnaire results in both groups including the tour operators and local tourism suppliers with local respondents in tourism route and destination in Tehran and Alborz, it was found that the role of tour operators and local tourism suppliers in administering tours would improve the level of settlements development in tourism destination.
Conclusion The findings showed that the lack of organization for cooperation of tour operators and local tourism suppliers resulted in the instability in tourism profession. Therefore, they failed to do the necessary investment to administer the tours and develop tourism support and recreational infrastructures. Thus, positive and comprehensive benefits of the tour operators and local stakeholders depend on the establishment of parallel organizations to invest in transportation and development of tourism infrastructures including accommodation, catering, and recreational services. Since, in the current situation, tour operators and local tourism suppliers are the only passive customers of tourist attractions in the subject area of study. Also, they have a limited role in the process of investment and decision-making. However, tour operators and local tourism suppliers were, generally, effective in promoting the settlements development in the studied area. These results are consistent with the findings of other authors such as Selanniemi 2003, Budneau 2005, Fredericks 2007, and Sigala 2008. However, no significant relationship was found between the social component parameters such as providing informative packages to the tourists, job-related training, and the informative programs for tour operators with the settlements development component in tourism route and destination.
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کلیدواژه ها [English]
tour operators, local tourism suppliers, sustainability and development of settlements, Tehran and Alborz provinces