Attitudes of Iranian Host Communities towards the Economic and Environmental Impacts of Tourism in Rural Areas: A Case Study of the Central Part of Noushahr County



     The objective of this study is to identify the economic and environmental impacts of tourism on rural areas from the residents’ perspectives. First, a number of environmental and economic indicators have been drawn from the existing literature to examine the effects. Second, required information has been collected through a questionnaire from three sub-districts in the central region of Noushahr county. The research method is descriptive-analytical and to analyze the data, non parametric statistical tests were applied in accordance with the type of data. The study results indicate that tourism has positive economic effects such as increasing employment opportunities and income, as well as negative environmental and economic effects such as raising the price of goods and services, falsely increasing land price, raising the level of noise pollution in the area, and misusing natural resources. According to chi-squared statistic there is a significant agreement among the residents in relation to this subject. The level of tourism impact on economic and environmental dimensions differs significantly among sub-districts. Such that, from the point of view of residents there is a direct relationship between the tourism growth and negative economic impacts.