Evaluating the effect of image and destination attractions on the attractiveness of tourist destinations (Case study: Rasht)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Art, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran.

2 Ph.D of Urban Planning, Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Art, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran


Tourism development leads to the economic and social development in the tourism destinations resulting sustainable economic development, creating jobs for residents and increasing their income levels. Paying attention to the social dimensions of tourism brings cultural and social cohesion as well as strengthening local identity. Each tourist destination has two types of attractions for tourists which are tangible and intangible. Tangible attractions include features that are objectively and directly visible to tourists. Intangible attractions include the socio-cultural potentials of the destination, which are usually special and unique. The image of the destination, which is mainly formed in tourists’ minds on the bases of socio-cultural attractions, has a great impact on the acceptance of a tourist destination. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of destination image and tourist attractions on the attractiveness of Rasht as a tourist destination. To collect research information, according to Cochran's formula, 384 questionnaires have been distributed and completed among tourists. The sampling method of the present study is non-random, which has been done in the historical and cultural monuments, hotels, terminals, etc. SPSS and Smart PLS3 software were used to analyze the obtained data. According to the research findings, the "destination image" index with an average of 4.09 has the highest average among the indices. Also, the indices of "tourist destination attraction" and "tourist destination attractiveness" are in the next positions with averages of 4.07 and 3.47, respectively. Based on the average obtained by the research indices, the average of the two independent indices (destination image and destination attraction) are very close to each other and above average. This shows the special attention and interest of tourists of this destination to cultural attractions beside of physical attractions. The average attractiveness index of Rasht tourist destination indicates the special place of this city in the minds of tourists. Therefore, by emphasizing the importance of the socio-cultural potentials of this city, we can hope for a bright future and the further flourishing of the potential capacities of this tourist destination. According to the modeling results, the image of the tourist destination with a path coefficient of 0.371 has the greatest impact on the attractiveness of the tourist destination. Based on this, the existing socio-cultural attractions are prior to the physical attractions and creating a favorable mental image in the minds of tourists requires more attention to local culture and social capital. The city management can provide cultural events based on the special traditions of the city, to attract more tourists. Today, the innovation of creating events has an important share of strengthening tourism in the global tourism market, and the city of Rasht has the necessary socio-cultural bases. In order to create events, more attention should be paid to the local culture and social capital of the city, which in the first step requires accurate study of customs and culture of Rasht. The next step needs the support of officials to provide the manifestations of creativity in tourism.


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