Assessment and Zoning of Tourism Climate of Iran Using Tourism Climate Index (TCI)



One of the important requirements of tourism planning is to study the climatic conditions in tourist attraction areas. Such information is very useful for tourists and tourism planners. Different researcherers have used various tourism climatic indexes to evaluate climatic conditions. Iran is one the important travel destinations of the world which is in the list of ten countries in the world that have tourism attractions. Therefore the study of different aspects of development of tourism industry in Iran is necessary. One of the main aspects is to study the climatic conditions associated with facilities required for tourism activities such as hotels, traveling, attractions and so on. In this study tourism climate of Iran was evaluated using tourism climate index (TCI) developed by Mieczkowski. This index systematically assesses climatic conditions for tourism using different climatic factors.

Material and methods
In this research TCI is computed for 144 synoptic weather stations of Iran with common period recorded (1990-2004). Data used for computing tourism climatic index are maximum daily temperature, mean daily temperature, minimum daily relative humidity, mean daily relative humidity, total precipitation, total hours of sunshine and average wind speed. After gathering the required data, computations took places based on Mieczkowski methods. In this methods all considered index compute the specific value to display comfortable or uncomfortable situations and then all computed indices combined in a final formula as TCI=2(CID+CIA+2P+2S+W). In this formula CID indicates daily comfortable index, CIA: 24 hours comfortable index, P: precipitation, S: sunshine hours and W: wind characteristics. The collected data were imported to GIS database and zoning climate tourism for all months was performed. The computed indexes for each weather station was considered separately based on statistical software and then the point based calculated index converted to aerial values based GIS function using IDW interpolation method. Finally climatic indexes maps for each month were prepared. In order to evaluate classification of climatic indexes of the country, central weather station of 30 provinces was selected based on cluster analysis and all regimes of tourism climate indices classified into 6 different categories.

Results and discussion
Analyses show TCI for Iran has considerable variation. In winter months, excellent tourism climate conditions are in southern parts of the country that toward northern parts, these conditions decreased. In spring months, the northern part of country has good tourism climatic conditions except northwestern and northeastern parts in initials of season. In summer months nearly bad tourism climatic conditions are in the country except the northwestern and northeastern parts of country. In autumn months, the good tourism climate conditions move toward southern parts of Iran and in this date northern coasts of Iran have good conditions in initials of season. Also concerning performed clustering TCI showed six regions climate tourism for Iran that each of them have homogenous tourism climatic condition features. In first group the weather stations located in northwest of Iran such as Uromieh, Tabriz, Zanjan and Ardebil weather stations have comfortable conditions peak in summer months. The second group has comfortable tourism conditions in initials of spring and autumn and cover east of Caspian Sea areas such as Gorgan weather station. The third groups including central provinces of the country which have two comfortable peaks in end of winter and initial of spring and second observed in initial of autumn. The weather stations of this group are Semnan, Shiraz, Kerman, Birjand, Esfahan, Zahedan and Yazd, The forth group cover western provinces and like first group with two similar peaks in summer months including Shahrkord, Arak, Sanadaj, Ghazvin, Kermanshah, Yasoj, Mashahd, Khoramabad and Tehran. The fifth group including Ahvaz, Banadar Abas, Boushehr weather stations cover southern coasts weather station that have comfortable conditions in winter moths in spite of other geographic areas. The sixth group covers southern coast of Caspian Sea mainly in west that comfortable conditions observed in end of spring and initial of autumn.

The result of this study shows variation in climatic condition of the country. The tourism climatic conditions varied in different regions of the country and all of the year in country the regions with good conditions observed in only one region of Iran. So, there is a potential of tourism travel in all of country. Other results indicated that the used indexes for evaluation of tourism climatic conditions in this research have good efficiency.