Agro-tourism and the development of farm-based tourism businesses have emerged as a creative and innovative approach to rural tourism, which exploits the potentials and capabilities of agricultural activities as unique opportunities for employment and development and poverty alleviation. The purpose of this study is to identify opportunities and areas for Agro-tourism development in rural areas of Tehran Province.
This is an applied research that adopts a descriptive-analytical approach. The statistical population of the study consisted of the rural areas of Tehran Province, of which 8 towns and three villages from each town were selected as the sample. Data collection was conducted using both library and field survey methods; however, the main focus of the research was on field studies, which involved a questionnaire and face-to-face interviews. The questionnaires were prepared for three groups of villagers, tourists, and officials separately. The sample size for villagers was determined using Cochran formula (n=261). Also, since the exact number of tourists and officials was not known, the sample size of these two groups was selected using purposive method (n=31 and n=20, respectively). Data were analyzed using descriptive (mean and frequency) and inferential statistical methods (Chisquare test, one-sample t-test and Mann-Whitney test).
The results suggest that government support and infrastructure improvement, the organization of local festivals related to farm products, the participation of tourists in harvesting, the direct presence of tourists in farming, job creation, and promotion of rural income levels are the most factors that influence Agro-tourism development in rural areas of Tehran Province. According to the results, showed all respondents agreed on the positive impact of the studied measures on Agro-tourism development.
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