Document Type : Original Article


1 A.M. in Tourism. University of Science and Culture, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Faculty of Tourism, University of Science and Culture, Tehran, Iran


Religious tourism is one of the world's most critical current types of tourism, especially in Islamic countries such as Iran, which has a high potential for development and progress in this field. However, the development of this type of tourism in our country is not restricted to only religious cities but includes other cities in Iran. With its religious-pilgrimage functions, Sari city in Mazandaran province provides an appropriate ground for developing religious tourism as one of the main forms of tourism. The present research first conducted a set of observations in the region after studying library documents using the field method. After analyzing data from the observations, research questions were evaluated by organizations, experts, and the local community. The results were quantitatively examined by SWOT analysis. Finally, according to extracted concepts from qualitative and quantitative analysis, a model for the development of religious tourism was obtained based on library and field studies using interviews and then evaluated by experts. Results show that religious places of Sari city aren’t on the list of development priorities. It presents a model for development in this region with more challenges. Therefore, the qualitative and quantitative analysis results of this research imply a very appropriate situation and a high potential for religious tourism, emphasizing Imamzadeh in Sari city.


Aghjani, M., & Farahanifard, S. (2015). Religious tourism and effective factors on it (Case study: Iran). Quarterly Journal of the Marco and Strategic Policies, 3(9), 43-66.
Ajit, S. K. (2004, August). Quest for good governance: Contribution and potential of religious institutions as stakeholders. Monash Governance Research Unit Conference (Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 1-15).
Ali, S., Maharani, L., & Untari, T. D. (2019). Development of religious tourism in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 8(5), 1-8.
Amiri, A., Masoudirad, M., Bakhshizadeh, S., & Zarei Zardsavari, H. (2022). Evaluating the role of cultural-religious indicators in tourism development with emphasis on the ritual of forty pulpits in Khorramabad. Journal of Applied Research in Geographical Sciences, 22(65), 325-344.
Arabshahi, M., Behbodi, O., & Kashfi, S. M. A. (2017). Analysis of the role and push and pull factors in the development of religious tourism in the holy city of Qom. Journal of Tourism and Development, 6(3), 58-79.
Dehshiri, M. R. (2015). Assessment of the factors affecting the development of religious tourism in Iran. Journal of Tourism Planning and Development, 4(12), 72-92.
Doiran, E. (2020). Evaluation of the tensile quality of urban space in the development of religious tourism (Case study: Muharram mourning ceremony in Zanjan). Journal of Urban Tourism, 7(3), 81-94.
Hanifehpour, M., Jan Bozorgi, M., Ranjbaran Baneh Kahl, Y., & Alamati, Z. (2021). The development of religious tourism in Rey city emphasizes introducing tourist attractions. The Second International Conference and the Fifth National Conference on Natural Resources and Environment Protection, Ardabil. [In Persian]
Hashemi., S. Y. (2021). Competitiveness strategies for developing religious tourism (Case study: Rezvanshahr city). Journal of Urban Tourism, 7(4), 75-89.
Heydari Chianeh, R., Del Chiappa, G., & Ghasemi, V. (2018). Cultural and religious tourism development in Iran: prospects and challenges. Anatolia, 29(2), 204-214.
Hung Lee, T., Jan, F. H., & Lin, Y. H. (2021). How authentic experience affects traditional religious tourism development: Evidence from the Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage, Taiwan. Journal of Travel Research, 60(5), 1140-1157.
Iliev, D. (2020). The evolution of religious tourism: Concept, segmentation, and development of new identities. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 45, 131-140.
Imani Khoshkhoo, M. H., & Shahrabi Farahani, M. (2018). Religious Tourism Basics, Approaches, Strategies. Tehran: Agah Publications.
Kim, B., Kim, S., & King, B. (2020). Religious tourism studies: Evolution, progress, and future prospects. Tourism Recreation Research, 45(2), 185-203.
Olsen, D, H., & Timothy D. J. (2006). Tourism and religious journeys. In Tourism, Religion and Spiritual Journeys, Timothy and Olsen (2006), Routledge.
Pishghadam, K., Rajaie, M. K., Dastgheib, M., & Rajaie Dastgheib, Z. (2018). Analysis of the role of The holy shrine of Shahcheragh in religious tourism development of Shiraz city. Quarterly Professional Journal of Religious Culture Approach, 1(1), 195-210.
Romanelli, M., Gazzola, P., Grechi, D., & Pollice, F. (2021). Towards sustainability‐oriented religious tourism. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 38(3), 386-396.
Salah, M. P., & Parand, H. R. (2021). Identifying the factors affecting the development of tourism in religious cities (Case study: the area of the shrine of Seyyed Alaeddin Hossein Shiraz). Twelfth National Conference on Civil Engineering, Architecture, and Urban Planning. Shirvan. [In Persian]
Sharifi Ghalehnoei, H., Asadi, M., & Ramezanian Fahandari, H. (2021). Analysis of religious tourism development factors with CM approach (Case study: Holy Mashhad), 5th International Congress on Agricultural Development, Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism of Iran, Tabriz. [In Persian]
Ziari, K., Jamali, K., & Sadeghi, F. (2018). Providing a sustainable urban tourism development model (Case study: Lahijan city). Urban Tourism, 4(4), 55-71.