عنوان مقاله [English]
Tourism is still based on the significant role of human resources, regardless of technological development in the world, so that this industry leads to direct employment in sub-sectors of industry and indirect employment in many activities. Tourism is one of the most important industries in the contemporary world. Despite the growth of tourism, the agriculture industry is facing a growing number of challenges, such as intensifying market competition, limited access to lands, increasing cost of inputs and lower commodity prices, which has led to lower incomes for small-scale farms around the world. Therefore, in order to survive, agriculture has to find a way to add value to its products and create reliable sources of income. Agritourism provides many economic, educational, and social benefits to producers, consumers (tourists) and society. Besides, agritourism motivates farmers to stay in this job. Agritourism is a job that farmers and ranchers do during agricultural, horticultural or agricultural business activities, intending to create entertainment, leisure and gain experience for visitors and educate them, without replacing service activities with productive activities, this also raises farmers' incomes.
Materials and Methods
After choosing the Fuzzy Delphi method, we formed the implementation, guidance, and monitoring teams. Then, the initial indicators and sub-indicators were extracted to develop a preliminary questionnaire. In the next step, the questionnaire, whose questions were based on those sub-indicators, was designed. Then, the questionnaires were validated and sent to the elected specialists in different Delphi rounds. After the experts' answers were collected, the desired indicators were selected. For picking the indicators, the fuzzy value of each question was calculated and converted to a defuzzification value and later compared to the threshold value.
Results and Discussion
After three rounds of Fuzzy Delphi method, indicators and sub-indicators were chosen. In the first round of the Fuzzy Delphi method, seven sub-indicators were removed from 43 extracted ones. In addition, at this stage, two sub-indicators of non-governmental organizations active in the tourism sector and farmers' social incentives to accept tourists were added to the extracted indicators. At the end of the second round, 38 sub-indicators had defuzzification value above the mean range. At this stage, these indicators were not removed or added, but since some of the questions did not include the consensus of experts’ opinions, Fuzzy Delphi process entered the third round. After the third round of Fuzzy Delphi and reviewing its results, we found that the defuzzification values of all research questions in this round are greater than the mean range. Therefore, all the indicators of the third questionnaire are valuable. On the other hand, in the previous round, no new indicators have been proposed by experts, therefore, based on these results, we have reached the research goal to identify effective indicators in the process of assessing the capacity of agritourism in Iran. There is also a condition of consensus or agreement for all questions, which represents the Fuzzy Delphi method completion and the indicators' selection.
The results of this study represent that eight indicators and 38 sub-indicators should be considered to evaluate the development potential of agritourism in Iran. The indicators are as follows: cost, farm and environment, infrastructure, rules and regulations and policy, attitude and ability of the host community, fun and shopping, security and safety and last but not least, tourist attractions. There are few studies on agritourism in Iran, and since the agritourism industry plays an important role in rural development in the world, it needs to be given more attention in Iran. Therefore, in future studies, it is recommended to weigh these indicators and study and compare the potential of Iranian villages based on the indicators extracted in this study and the weight assigned to each indicator.