World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010

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TOURISM IMPACT WITHIN THE MIDDLE EAST - 2/2 (167) - Panel
 

· Date: TUE, 20 / 5-7 pm

· Language: English

· Description:

Paper presenter: Rami Isaac (Dr., Tourism Lecturer, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands), “Palestine: Moving from Pilgrimage to Responsible Tourism”
Since the beginning of the 20th century Palestine has seen complicated changes in its political circumstances, most notably the creation of Israel in 1948 and the 1967 war, where Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These events have created catastrophic political, economic and social facts which deeply affected the life of the Palestinian people; most of whom became refugees, living in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria and within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In many ways Palestine itself was wiped off the map, historic Palestine coming to be known as Israel. In this context, tourism became a political tool in the supremacy and domination of the Israeli establishment over land, and people and an instrument for preventing the Palestinians from enjoying the benefits and the fruits of cultural and human interaction on which tourism thrives. Despite all agreements with Israel, many areas of life are still under Israeli control. Israel controls all access to Palestine (land, sea borders and air), most of the Palestinian water resources and all movements of people and goods from, to and within Palestine. These facts have significant impacts on the development of tourism in the Palestinian Territories and the dissemination of information to tourists. Jerusalem, the heart of tourism in the region, has been illegally annexed by Israel, filled with illegal settlements, besieged surrounded by checkpoints and encircled by the Separation Wall, all of which has resulted in the city’s isolation from its social and geographical surroundings. This paper assesses the role that tourism may play in promoting peace by presenting the Palestinian Initiative for Responsible Tourism (PIRT) - code of conduct - and its contribution to peace. Furthermore, issues of sustainability and the triple bottom line will be evaluated which could potentially go a long way towards healing some of the divisions in the Palestinian/Israeli society.

Paper presenter: Shadi Azizi and Hamidreza Mousavi (Professor Assistant, Faculty of Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch, Art and Architecture Department, Iran), “Using Cultural Tourism Network in Sustainable Development of Desert Villages in Iran. Case Study: Khor o Biyabanak District, Esfehan”
There are many studies and experiences on how cultural tourism could develop local societies towards sustainability .But in Iran Lack of strategic plan for rural development and other Fundamental problems cause unemployment, poverty and de-motivation in villagers. In addition, the most important challenges are rapid socio-economic changes in the world which threaten sustainable land use. Consequently villagers Migrate to cities for finding better jobs and day by day villages are being destroyed. One of the best ways for surviving devious villages like desert villages is cultural tourism network. In this paper, one local district which is called khor o Biyabank just next to Central Desert of Iran is analyzed. This district plays an important role in connecting chain of historical cities like Esfahan and Yazd to pure extraordinary nature like Central Desert and Salt Lake. Because of the essence of information, the data is collected by observation, field study and also analysis, in order to investigate the local area geography and its important roles in heart of Iran. This research argues the possibility of sustainable development network of a local district. This network could work efficiently, when all the members of this network which consist of several villages play especial role according to its potentials. At the present, in that local area, some motivations have made some parts of this network which have increased employments and revived the desert villages step by step toward sustainability.

Paper presenter: Farangis Saeidi (Researcher, Islamic Azad University, Lorestan Branch, Iran), “The Museum of Cultural Tourism and Anthropology in Iran”
One of the most important branches of tourism is cultural tourism in which the tourists come to gain knowledge and experience over past and present cultures not only of their own countries, but also those belonging to other countries. Notable among the motives of cultural tourists is interest in history and culture of different countries. Regarding the issue, anthropological museums can be introduced as a tourist attraction centre. On the other hand, as far as cultural tourism is an important factor in a country's overall development, we intend to introduce anthropological museums as a cultural attraction centre in Iran. Different existing anthropological museums in Iran introduce customs, traditions and cultures of different regions. This study apart from focusing on anthropological museums in different areas of Iran compares such museums according to the number of visitors in recent five years and also compares the quality and oldness of these places. Above all relevant useful internet sites are to be introduced.

Paper presenter: Mohammad Bagherian (PhD Student, Centre for Geographical Studies, University of Lisbon), “Tourism and Spatial Patterns on the Silk Road”
The Middle East has always been a connection between west and east, and throughout many centuries the Silk Road played an important part in allowing exchanges of goods, ideas and culture. This lengthy route crosses numerous environments and stretches its way through the civilizations of Asia, Europe and Africa, from Han Dynasty to the Kingdom of Egypt, from Mongolians to Persian and Ottomans, from Alexander to Marco Polo. Especially after the independence of five central Asian republics in 1991, the Silk Road acquired a strong potential in the economic, political, as well as socio-cultural role of the region. The opening up of the region and the withdrawal of barriers depends on each country's commitment as well as to the supranational coordination within organizations such as ECO, SCO, UNWTO and UNESCO. Tourism is one of the dimensions that can benefit tremendously from this international cooperation. Various reports and studies suggest that the visa facilitation and an increase safety on route could have enormous positive impacts on the ways in which tourists and travellers decide to organise their travels. Despite this great tourism potential there is no formal organization among the Silk Road countries in order to promote and develop this route and research on tourism on the Silk Road is scarce. This study aimed at investigating the spatial patterns of a sample of tourists travelling on the Silk Road, such as the itinerary of the travel, the mode of transport, the type of accommodation and their perceived barriers on the Silk Road. Questionnaires were administered in a hotel in Esfahan, Iran, during the summer of 2009. The sample consisted of 50 tourists travelling on the Silk Road. Based on the conducted questionnaires, we managed to establish certain spatial patterns of itineraries, the centers and peripheries of these routes, and the countries and regions which are apparently more successful in attracting tourists. It was also possible to ascertain that the most critical barriers to travelling on the Silk Road relate to safety, transportation and accommodation, and significantly to the available sources of information.

Paper presenter: Shadnaz Azizi (Master of Environmental Design Engineering, Azad University), "Cultural Tourism Development Strategy and Action plan Southern Caspian sea coastline experience. Case study: Emamzade Hashem village"
Tourism industry generally considers so many types, but in countries like Iran it is concentrated on cultural and natural based tourism. Unfortunately, absence of experts and available products, as well as inadequate strategy for cultural tourism development, no awareness of tourism economic impacts and advantages and limited marketing are all the cultural tourism development obstacles. However, implementation of cultural tourism development requires practical planning for life quality and tourism motivation progress to achieve long run tourism with respect to citizen control and empowerment, the most important principles of development participation. Emamzade Hashem village as an ancient resting stop is located in southern Caspian Sea coastline. This rural area has got magnificent cultural resources including interesting traditional and religious patterns and occasions, but over the last decades, lack of proper strategy has ruined the village economy. This essay is aimed to represent strategy of rural cultural tourism development through increasing rural society income on the basis of balanced growth to comply with life quality progress and create motivation in rural settlements to prepare sustainable cultural tourism. In order to these purpose, the primitive and secondary data reviews were analyzed by questionnaire surveys, semi - structured interviews and SWOT analysis. Finally, cultural tourism action plan were made on the basis of gradual development principle.