Investigating the impact of environmental hazards on the image capital of tourist destinations, (case study: Miankooh District of Ardal Township)

Document Type : Applied Article


1 Department of Geography and Rural Planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Isfahan, Iran

2 Ph.D. of Geography and Rural Planning

3 Department of Geomorphology, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran



Various factors contribute to the successful formation or distortion of this image. In the meantime, not only natural factors play a role in the image of the destination; more importantly, the inhabitants of an area form foundation of the destination image. One of the most effective issues in the image of a tourist destination is human and natural hazards. In fact, environmental hazards can act as a Strong repulsion to travel to a tourist destination or distort the image of a tourist destination. The importance of this has led us to explore the potential risks and impact on the image of tourists from the region in the Miankooh area. Exploring this issue can help enrich theoretical and empirical studies of the problem of imaging capital for tourist destinations. Also, due to the novelty of the tourism industry in the case study, it will help local policy-makers to pay special attention and inform environmental hazard management and improve the imaging capital of the region to diversify income, equitable income distribution and social sustainability.
Materials and methods
A combined methodology based on the philosophy of pragmatism was chosen to conduct this research. A sample of 15 experts living in the area selected as Snowball sampling was used to identify possble hazards in the study area, and then a questionnaire was distributed among 194 tourists in the Miankooh area, and data was collected to factor these hazards based on their impact on the image of the tourist destination.
Discussion and Results
In the present study, we asked the experts to describe the extent and probability of each risk occurring during different months of the year. After stating the possible occurrence in the year, we asked the experts to prioritize the risks based on the extent and probability of occurrence. According to the survey, road biographies were identified as the most likely hazard in the region. After that, drought, rock fall, and flooding were ranked next.
The results of the impact of environmental risks on the capital picture show that they can be identified in four factors and the general category. These four factors include a lack of human security and privacy threats, climate crises and rock falls, a lack of adherence to the principles of human interaction with the environment, and geological risks. The factors in question account for 65% of the tourism image of the study area.
The research literature shows that the image of the destination and its related concepts, due to its effects on supply and demand in marketing, is an important indicator in the rural and natural tourism. Despite the widespread attention of researchers to this concept, there is a gap in the comprehensive conceptualization of the image, its complex relationships and the factors affecting it. Many aspects of this complex structure have not yet been explored experimentally and operationally. The identification of environmental hazards shows that many hazards, due to the mountainous nature of the region, the occurrence of such natural hazards seems logical to some extent, but the weak infrastructure and the lack of correct location and warning signs have doubled the damages of these hazards. And they will play a prominent role in the possibility of its occurrence in the future. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the infrastructure reconstruction, Guiding signs and other environmental and safety policies for mountainous areas. In addition, to reduce human risks, the host community should be involved in the tourism industry and provide them with the necessary training.


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