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Environmental Impacts of Mass Religious Tourism: From Residents' Perspectives

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This study aims to examine residents' perceptions of the environmental impact of mass religious tourism in Mashhad, Iran. Although numerous studies have examined residents' perceptions regarding the impact of mass religious tourism, there is a paucity of research specifically assessing the spatial pattern of the environmental impact of religious tourism with a focus on areas surrounding the shrine. The city of Mashhad is one of the most highly revered religious sites for the Shiite sect of Islam. Three hundred questionnaires were distributed to those living around the holy shrine, and an analysis of variance was performed to compare the mean scores of the environmental dimensions against educational level, income level, and residency length. A geostatistical technique using geographic information system software was applied to map spatial variations in environmental impact, indicating that although religious tourism has resulted in environmental improvement, it is limited to those areas immediately surrounding the shrine, and this improvement does not extend to the whole city. Based on statistical results, residents' perceptions generally were negative in terms of the environmental impact of religious tourism. Moreover, respondents' perceptions appeared to be colored by their income and the length of their residency.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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  • Established in 1996, Tourism Analysis is an interdisciplinary journal that provides a platform for exchanging ideas and research in tourism and related fields. The journal aims to publish articles that explore a broad range of research subjects, including, but not limited to, the social, economic, cultural, environmental, and psychological aspects of tourism, consumer behavior in tourism, sustainable and responsible tourism, and effective operations, marketing, and management.

    Tourism Analysis focuses on both theoretical and applied research and strives to promote innovative approaches to understanding the complex and dynamic nature of tourism, its stakeholders, businesses, and its effects on society. The journal welcomes articles on innovative research topics and methodologies beyond the traditional theory-testing sciences, such as robotics, computational sciences, and data analytics.

    Our primary goal is to contribute to the development and advancement of new knowledge in tourism while fostering critical reflections and debates on the radical changes and evolution in tourism among scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
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