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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2238;

Spatial Analysis of the Distribution of Small Businesses in the Eastern Villages of Gilan Province with Emphasis on the Tourism Sector in Mountainous Regions

Department of Human Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran 14178, Iran
Tourism Crisis Management Institute, Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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The development of small businesses in rural areas as a key strategy for sustaining the population and improving the quality of life of villagers has always been a concern for many developed and developing countries. Some rural areas provide their villagers with favorable conditions for the development of businesses in order to enjoy the potential in the field of tourism. Sustainable development in these areas can be achieved with systematic attention and planning. In the present work, the spatial analysis of the distribution of small businesses in the eastern parts of Gilan Province was studied with an emphasis on tourism in mountainous regions. The study population consisted of all villages in the east part of Gilan Province, and the sample included all businesses officially supported by the Omid Entrepreneurship Fund. The research method was a descriptive analytic in which GIS software and the G statistic were used for the analysis of spatial correlation, clustering, hot and cold spots analysis and buffer zones. Finally, the results of the study showed that the spatial distribution of businesses in different economic sectors (agriculture, industry, services and tourism) were different between 2011 and 2016 in the way the cluster pattern was formed in agricultural and service activities. A cluster pattern cannot be considered in the tourism and industrial activities, but there is a random (point) pattern; in this regard, the results indicate the importance of the factor of distance between the village and the city center in the distribution of tourism businesses. In addition, the highest levels of support for businesses were in the agricultural and services sectors, while the lowest support was in industry and tourism. Finally, the results showed that the distribution of businesses in all activities was much higher in the plains and valleys as compared to the mountainous and hill areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial analysis; small businesses; tourism; rural areas spatial analysis; small businesses; tourism; rural areas

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Hajilo, M.; Ghadiri Masoom, M.; Motiee Langroudi, S.H.; Faraji Sabokbar, H.; Pennington-Gray, L. Spatial Analysis of the Distribution of Small Businesses in the Eastern Villages of Gilan Province with Emphasis on the Tourism Sector in Mountainous Regions. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2238.

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