Investigating community support for sustainable tourism development in small heritage sites in Iran: a grounded theory approach

Fereshteh Pezeshki*, Masood Khodadadi, Moslem Bagheri

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Community support is a key factor in the successful implementation of sustainable tourism development plans at heritage sites. This study presents a paradigm model to provide insight into the structure and process of community support for sustainable tourism development (SSTD) in small heritage sites. Using a social constructionist frame and grounded theory approach, the data from semi-structured interviews with 22 participants living in the historic city of Shiraz in Iran – selected through theoretical sampling – were analysed. In this study, for the first time, the dimensions of the core phenomenon of ‘community SSTD’ in small heritage sites were identified. They were categorised into five strategies of demand, emotional support, voluntary promotional activities, economic activities and user activities. Data analysis also revealed six factors of cultural/historical awareness, community attachment, individual characteristics, community perceptions, social factors and the sites’ neighbourhood conditions as factors affecting community SSTD in small heritage sites. Given the scarcity of qualitative studies conducted in the area of sustainable tourism development in small heritage sites, the findings of this study can be used as a basis for strengthening community SSTD in Iran and elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2220316
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Early online date4 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • community support
  • cultural tourism
  • grounded theory
  • Iran tourism
  • small heritage sites
  • sustainable tourism development

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