A STUDY OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF RURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF EXPERTS (A CASE STUDY OF KALAT COUNTY), IRANNahid Shahabfar, Mohammad Ali Ahmadian and Hamid Jafari
Nowadays, tourism has attracted considerable attention as an influential phenomenon on rural development, since it dramatically affects the economic, cultural, social, environmental, and structural aspects of rural life. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of tourism development on the quality of rural environment from the viewpoint of experts. In this regard, and to fulfill this purpose the environmental impacts and consequences of rural development on the rural regions of Kalat county was investigated using descriptive-analytical research and utilizing documentaries and field studies (30 questionnaires filled by experts). The results of this study show that the experts evaluated the environmental impacts of tourism development with an average rating of 33/66, which is in the moderate to high range. The Pearson correlation test was used to test the hypothesis of this study. The correlation coefficient was estimated 0.989, therefore, it can be stated that tourism development would cause environmental changes throughout the rural regions of the province. Finally, based on the results it is suggested that tourism development should be carried out with focus on ecotourism and tourism attraction with emphasis on preserving the environment, promotion of tourism culture and environment preservation among public. Therefore, it is suggested that laws, rules, and regulations regarding environmental standards of tourism be formulated and revised, and that the officials should pay attention to this matter in order to prevent environmental degradation.
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