University of Oulu

Torabi Z-A, Khavarian-Garmsir AR, Hall CM, Khatibi NB. Unintended Maladaptation: How Agritourism Development Policies in Iran Have Increased Vulnerability to Climate Change. Sustainability. 2023; 15(17):13003.

Unintended maladaptation : how agritourism development policies in Iran have increased vulnerability to climate change

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Author: Torabi, Zabih-Allah1; Khavarian-Garmsir, Amir Reza2; Hall, Colin Michael3,4,5,6,7;
Organizations: 1Department of Geography and Rural Planning, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran 1411713116, Iran
2Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Geographical Sciences and Planning, University of Isfahan, Isfahan 8174673441, Iran
3Department of Management, Marketing, and Tourism, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
4The College of Hotel & Tourism Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea
5Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
6School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, 35195 Växjö, Sweden
7Department of Service Management and Service Studies, Lund University, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-18


Implementing appropriate policies is crucial for adapting the agricultural sector to climate change. However, adopting incorrect policies can exacerbate unsustainable development. Hence, this study investigated the unintended consequences of agritourism development policies as a climate change adaptation strategy in the villages of Shahrud, Iran. It demonstrated how such policies have inadvertently heightened farmers’ vulnerability to climate change impacts. Data were collected through 44 semi-structured interviews, which underwent thematic analysis to identify emerging patterns. The study’s findings indicate that the rapid expansion of Agritourism in Iran, aimed at addressing climate change, has failed to achieve its intended goals. Inadequate government support, increased supply, legal gaps, and lack of empowerment were identified as contributing factors leading to unsustainable development and financial losses. Consequently, smallholder farmers were found to harbor negative perceptions of agritourism and expressed dissatisfaction with existing policies. These findings underscore the necessity of comprehensive policies and support systems to facilitate the effective implementation of sustainable agritourism by stakeholders in Iran.

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Series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
ISSN-E: 2071-1050
ISSN-L: 2071-1050
Volume: 15
Issue: 17
Article number: 13003
DOI: 10.3390/su151713003
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (