عنوان مقاله [English]
Tourism as a dynamic industry has distinctive and unique features. In fact, it is one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world economy, as well as a tool for social and economic changes in many rural areas of developing countries. In this context, religious tourism which is one of the oldest tourism forms has been estimated to devote 26 % of the total tourism to itself and to have a lot of effects on the host society. Therefore, in the present research the effects of tourism on sustainable development of rural areas from the perspective of the host society have been studied. An applied and descriptive-analytical study was selected for this research. The instruments which were used for data collection included questionnaires and interviews the results of which were analyzed using descriptive tests, as well as one-sample t-test and linear regression. The population of the study consisted of rural families who were living in Namarestagh and Amol. According to the census in 2011, the villages understudy consisted of 328 families, totally 814 persons. The results of the study indicated that religious tourism is positively effective as far as such social indicators as satisfaction with educational facilities and housing, increased participation in social affairs; and rural and social trust; as well as economic indicators such as unemployment, job satisfaction, and diverse sources of income are considered.