Community participation towards conservation of Touran National Park (TNP): an application of reciprocal altruism theory

Zahed Ghaderi*, Minoo H. Esfehani, David Fennell, Elham Shahabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Past research linking tourism and reciprocal altruism (RA), although meagre, has typically focused on relationships between hosts and guests. To broaden the application of RA in tourism, the current study focuses specifically on a local community and their participation in conserving national park assets. Face-to-face interviews with 39 local stakeholders were conducted in Iran to investigate how locals' altruistic behaviours contribute to the conservation of Touran National Park. The results demonstrate that while altruism motives such as satisfying a moral obligation to support the environment, protecting wildlife, and doing something positive for the community were cited as the main reason for conservation cooperation for NGOs and environmentalists, self-interest was the main reason for conservation cooperation motives amongst tourism business operators in conserving the park. This study also showed that locals' altruistic behaviour is an important and influential factor in protecting valuable natural resources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ecotourism
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Community participation
  • conservation
  • national parks
  • reciprocal altruism theory
  • Touran national park
  • tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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