Propoor Tourism in Iran

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1. Background of Study

Tourism is clearly of large importance for developing countries. Islamic Republic of Iran, by having great natural resources and historical back ground and heritages should be able to make a great use of these potentials to create a healthy and on growing economy. Recently, government of Iran has started to invest more on tourism sector of the country, but it is not easy for government to implement all the strategies they need for growth in the industry.

There are many issues which should be taken into consideration before applying those strategies. One of these issues is the population of poor people in the country, which is a great quantity from the overall population, doesn’t have any important role in this implementation and strategies or benefits. Poor in Iran can’t afford to travel and also can’t afford to invest and be dynamic part of industry. Travelling is considered as a luxury facts which not everyone can afford to do it and more over invest on it. There is a need for setting up a new type of tourism in country which everyone can travel and invest and get the benefits of it and more people can participate. However, according to Dilys R (2001), analysis of tourism data in developing a country shows that in most countries with high levels of poverty, tourism is significant and increasing.

The poor can participate in the tourism industry in many ways - as workers, entrepreneurs, and neighbors. They gain new opportunities but also face limitation. They earn incomes, but also suffer costs of tourism. These impacts vary enormously from destination to destination. Enhancing the opportunities and impacts for the poor is the concern of this research. Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT) is about how the business of tourism is done. The impacts of tourism on the poor depend very much on the behavior of private companies and individual tourists. At the same time, these are strongly influenced by Government, through its policies, regulations, public investment, expectations, and actions, not only in tourism but in other sectors too (Caroline A, 2006).

As mentioned by Dilys R (2001) “Achieving poverty reduction requires actions on a variety of balancing fronts and scales, but for such to happen it is required a significant progress is pro-poor growth – (growth which benefits the poor)”. Together with that Dilys R (2001) also questioned, “As an industry that is clearly important in many poor countries, can tourism be one source of such growth?”

1. Country profile: Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran, a country slightly larger than Alaska, is located in the Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf in the south and the Caspian Sea in the north. It covers an area of 1.648 million square kilometers (636,296 square miles) and is edged between Iraq, with which it shares a border of 1,458 kilometers (906 miles), and Pakistan and Afghanistan in the east, with which Iran has 909 kilometers (565 miles) and 936 kilometers (582 miles), respectively, of common borderline. Iran also shares 499 kilometers (310 miles) of borderline with Turkey, 992 kilometers (616 miles) with Turkmenistan, 432 kilometers (268 miles) with Azerbaijan, and some 35 kilometers (22 miles) with Armenia, the latter 3 states formerly being part of the USSR (Encyclopedia of the Nations, Iran, 2009).

Most of the 2,440 kilometers (1516 miles) of coastline are on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The two gulfs are connected by the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Iran has dozens of islands in the Persian Gulf, many of which are uninhabited but used as bases for oil exploration. Those that are inhabited—notably Qeshm and Kish—are being developed, attracting investors and tourists. The Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea is some 740 kilometers (460 miles) long. Apart from being home to the sturgeon that provides for the world's best caviar, the Caspian Sea is the world's...
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