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ISSN: 2167-0269
Journal of Tourism & Hospitality
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The Effect of Museums and Tourism Operations on the Millennium Development Goals: Case of Garden War Museum of Sacred Defenses, Iran, Tehran

Shahab Nazariadli*

Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, North Carolina State University, NC, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Shahab Nazariadli
Department of Parks
Recreation and Tourism Management
North Carolina State University, NC 27606, USA
Tel: 919-448-8826
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: June 06, 2017; Accepted date: June 16, 2017; Published date: June 23, 2017

Citation: Nazariadli S (2017) The Effect of Museums and Tourism Operations on the Millennium Development Goals: Case of Garden War Museum of Sacred Defenses, Iran, Tehran. J Tourism Hospit 6: 292. doi: 10.4172/2167-0269.1000292

Copyright: © 2017 Nazariadli S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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In 2000, world government leaders and the United Nations assembled a resolution comprised of eight primary Goals, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They are the most broadly supported, comprehensive and accurate global development Goals upon which the world has ever agreed. Two principal components that the United Nations took into account when formulating these Goals were tourism and museum. With MDGs, they form an intertwined triangle, which this interplay constitutes the paper’s conceptual framework. This paper evaluates how the Garden War Museum by the adoption of United Nations Global Compact’s (UNGC) ten principles, and tourism industry practically and potentially contribute to reaching the MDGs. This study adopts the case study method to evaluate how Garden War Museum of Sacred Defenses, as a memorial war museum in Iran, Tehran, symbiotically functions with tourism towards its Goals in addressing the MDGs. Its geographical placement and a huge number of visitors highlight its importance and success over the in-situ eco-war museums in remote areas of the country. The study exercises systematic appraisal of archival records and field notes, and provides some holistic managerial recommendations and derived Golden factors in approaching the predefined MDGs.1


Museum; UNGC; Responsible tourism; MDGs


Museums operations eliminate economic problems

The Iran-Iraq War, known in Iran as either the Imposed War or Holy Defense, broke out on 22 September 1980. Iraq invaded Iran by air and by land and lasted for eight years which eventually ended in August 1988. This war, as the second longest war fought in the Twentieth Century (after Vietnam), resulted in the deaths of over half of a million soldiers and civilians, with much more injured [1]. Notwithstanding, it contributed to neither reparations nor a change in borders. Saddam Hussein, the war commander and president of Iraq at the time, showed brutality and killed numerous innocent women and children, especially in the southern parts of Iran - in Khorramshahr, Abadan, and Ahvaz, where demolished buildings are still extant. The Iraqi government used chemical weapons extensively against Iranian troops and civilians. These weapons killed many, but they also infected people with deadly diseases that have been passed along to subsequent generations [2].

Ever since those unfortunate years, mental, social, environmental and economic development has been a priority. The Iranian government endeavored to reconstruct damaged structures, extend literacy, and improve the health and welfare of the population and reduce poverty [3]. However, unfortunately, another war is now softly inflicting Iranians, that is, the economic sanctions and embargos which have led to the economic downturn and depression. Fortunately, tourism is one industry that cannot be banned or restricted, but if well harnessed, brings about equal prosperity and growth [4]. Indeed, when tailored and innovative initiatives are advanced, tourism has the potential to sustain wealth, as well as social and environmental benefits. In this vein, the Iranian government devised plans to mature the Museum potentials with the tourism industry.

Given governmental support and financial incentives, several eco-museums have been established in once-upon-a-time battlefield regions. The sense of these places has been used to enliven the memories of the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq eight years of sacred defenses especially in the minds of those who had not observed the War. Since many of the sites chosen for these museums were situated in remote, peripheral and almost uninhabitable areas of the country afflicted with the hot and adverse weather, they did not attract the expected number of visitors. Consequently, the Museums emerged to be unappealing and unprofitable [5]. However, the government felt that possibly if visitors realized that these localities and associated operations potentially contribute to the society, such impediments would not have become deterrents and overcome by visitors.

Therefore, the Iranian government resolved to establish war museums across the more habitable areas of the country in an effort to intrigue more visitors and raise awareness. Thus, the biggest war museum in Iran opened in 2010, under the direct control and support of the Municipality of Tehran. The Museum’s centralized management and location in the nation’s most populous capital city ended up to its advantage in attracting more visitors through its convenience and accessibility. Firstly, via a wide variety of operations, the War Museum in Tehran, has delicately and efficiently disseminated information about war culture and the Iran-Iraq War. Secondly, it has achieved its optimum Goal of generating income and employment, which in turn caters the stakeholders, victims of the War, as well as other needy people.

No doubt that the stagnation of the War eco-museums in remote areas of Iran sprung from the fact that they hardly could attract visitors and endure operational difficulties and necessities. This wisdom leads us to believe in the role of tourism in the sustainable development of museums. Museums rely on/create networking and relationship building, and it can play a dominant leadership role in reaching MDGs by steering visitors towards responsible travel [6]. Museums, on the other hand, can help to achieve MDGs by applying the ten strategies of the

United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) - Museums have the potential to help reach MDGs, but cooperation with the tourism industry makes MDGs even more accessible (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Study’s conceptual framework: Museum and tourism operations cooperationally cater to achieving MDGs.

Theoretical background

Millennium development goals: Millennium development Goals (MDGs) was developed as a response to the most challenging issues on the planet threatening the environment and the human beings [7]. In September 2000, world leaders of 189 countries assembled in the United Nations’ Headquarter in New York for the Millennium United Nation’s Summit. In the end of Summit, the world leaders signed a declaration, honing and narrowing down world’s most pressing issues, under framework of world’s priorities. Thereafter, the UN General Assembly mandated the Kofi Annan, to scheme a long-term roadmap towards reaching the eight defined goals, targeting education, poverty, health and environment, while emphasizing the collaboration between nations.

The MDGs are categorized under eight overarching goals namely as: Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education; Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women; Goal 4: Reduce child mortality; Goal 5: Improve maternal health; Goal 6: Combat HIV/Aids, Malaria, and another disease; Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability; Goal 8: Global partnership for development. It then followed by eighteen quantitatively-evaluative targets in order to effectively measure the impact and the advancement of the MDGs based on the agreed-upon roadmap around the world. However, there are some other UN-established rules and strategies which have not been measured in terms of their impact on the MDGs achievements.

United Nations Global Compact strategy (UNGC): The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption [8]. By aligning with these principles, businesses can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology, and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere [9]. The Global Compact pursues two complementary objectives:

• Mainstream the ten principles in business activities around the world

• Catalyze actions in support of broader UN Goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Potentially, via the application of its ten principles, museums can ultimately join global efforts to alleviate poverty [10]. However, by taking into account specific activities and the extent of their impacts, museum operators can also adjust operations to serve their communities better. Its impact over MDGs expands imaginations and allows managers, workers, suppliers and all stakeholders to behave systematically, navigate towards certain Goals, and keep aware of business’s direct and indirect multifaceted impacts [6]. Besides, UNGC strategy is broken up into four chapters of Human Rights, Labour, Environment, and Anti-corruption [9].

Previous experiences: The museums of Malawi

Malawi is a small country in Southern Africa with a population of approximately thirteen million. It is one of the ten least developed countries in the world. Malawi faces many challenges, such as high rates of HIV/AIDS and Malaria, hunger, illiteracy, poverty, and so forth. The rural areas, where over 80% of the population lives below the poverty line and over 50% are illiterate [11]. The Association of Museums in Malawi initiated a plan for the poverty eradication in the country. First, the Association started by visiting fifteen schools and asking over 900 schoolchildren to name the most significant issue they faced in their lives. The resounding response was poverty. Furthermore, this organization asked schoolchildren and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) whether they knew how to take action against poverty or if they had knowledge of any ways that culture could iron out their problems. This activity led to the production of Culture Connection, a magazine that represented the children’s beliefs, through poetry and storytelling. The produced pieces of art portrayed children’s feelings on how culture can combat poverty [12].

Poverty was on the increase, and more and more children could not advance into high academia or obtain professional qualifications due to inadequate educational facilities. Furthermore, the expressive arts were not emphasized in schools and, to a large extent, teachers neglected to teach the arts. This oversight resulted in little to no appreciation of arts, which might otherwise have been a source of employment and income. In response, the Association of Museums planned new expressive arts programs in music, dance, drama, poetry, literature, and painting. This took place in a few museums to utilize culture as a contributor in developing children’s talents. Besides to hasten the creation of new jobs and industries, to reduce unemployment problems and to attract tourists who would then bring foreign currency to the country [13].

This process resulted in the creation of popular music bands, dramatists like Isaac and Jacob, and literary artists like Phiri. The Museum Village Cultural Troupe traveled to many countries in Europe and Africa and made astounding achievements. Young women and men have been employed in various ways through their talents, and many visitors enjoyed visiting the Museums of Malawi to learn about traditional Malawian culture. These are some of the ways that museums have brought development opportunities to Malawi [11,12].

Research Method

Sample, data collection, and analysis

The Unit of analysis for this study is the Garden War Museum in Tehran, Iran, and the unit of observation is the list of activities, recorded systematically in a monthly internally published booklet at the Museum. The researcher, while being a student at Tehran University, in Iran, collected data by complying with the national and local laws, norms and rules in conducting an ethical study with/on human beings. However, after receiving the local approvals, he needed to meet with the local security officers and principal managers, to prove sincerity and research’s significance and goodness. This was critical to reaching the gatekeepers, as the security of information in such museums are highly relevant, and the internal university-based and local permissions do not suffice and necessarily mean access to the sensitive information.

The archival appraisal of the records was done at the Museum while accompanied with informal chats with museum directors and staff who were keeping the internal information kept secure and for internal use only. The process encompassed nine sessions of meeting and hand notes of the available and accessible materials, while always a staff accompanied the researcher. Averagely each meeting and note takings was done between 3-4 hours during the staff working hours. The data was then transcribed and compared to the ten principles of UNGC, to see how the Museum operations fall within these principles and further implicated the MDGs. This cross comparison then was checked with the Museum staff, in order to increase the credibility of the results and interpretations. Proof-reading and the refinement of interpretations for the taken for granted beliefs were also done with two graduate students at the Tehran University. To be explicit, the research data was collected in 2011, in Summer and months of June and July.

Analysis of activities performed at the garden war museum of sacred defenses, Iran

To measure the breadth of positive/negative impacts of the Garden War Museum of Sacred Defenses in society, this study examines sample Museum’s activities to show which MDGs have been affected by the implementation of UNGC principles. The charts and tables below reveal results that could be models for museum developers and policy-makers. What is more, all activities conducted by the Museum are classified into two groups: core activities that are not unique to the Museum, and activities that would be uniquely undertaken by museums.

UNGC Chapter one: Distinctive Activities Germane To Human Rights.

Principle 1: “Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.”

Principle 2: “Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.”

12-1) Provision of healthy and safe work environment: Reasonable access to potable water and sanitary facilities, fire safety, and adequate lighting and ventilation (this impacts MDG 6).

1-2) Nondiscriminatory treatment in personnel practices: Supporting pregnant women through regular monthly payments until they are able to resume work securely. Women will not be at risk of losing their jobs while on leave (this impacts MDGs 3 and 4).

1-3) Respecting wage and work-hour laws: Comply with national regulations relating to minimum wages, overtime, maximum hours, and other elements of compensation (this impacts MDG 1).

1-4) Elimination of child labor: Has followed child labor laws enacted by the United Nations since the construction of the Museum complex (this impacts MDG 4).

1-5) Compulsory displacements of staff: Unfortunately, the Iranian Museum organizational bureau experienced an unpleasant move to the province of Shiraz, which staff and stakeholders have criticized (this impacts MDG 7).

1-6) Female employment strategy: There are equal recruitment opportunities for both males and women but, in accordance with religious regulations, women must cover themselves properly (his impacts MDG 3).

23-1) Aiding holders of war culture: The Garden War Museum, which is supported by the Tehran Municipality, has devoted money earned annually to the families of the martyrs and war-handicapped people (this impacts MDG 1 and 2).

2-2) Religious Accommodations: There is a mosque called “Release of Khorramshahr,” which serves as a monument in the city center and is devoted to Islamic rituals.

2-3) Results of construction: The building of the Museum began with a deforestation project in 2006 in an area of about 20 square hectares in Abbas Abad Hills district. It caused some residents of this enormous area to find lodging elsewhere in Tehran without any proper foresight and pre-considerations (this impacts MDG 7).

2-4) Affordability to the poor: There are many mementos and souvenirs priced from low to high and also some inexpensive restaurants, temporary accommodation and affordable public transportation. The entrance fee includes same-day admission to the Garden War Museum complex, and there is no extra charge for its eight leading permanent exhibitions (this impacts MDG 1).

2-5) Preferences in recruitment: In this case, the government regards the recruitment of martyrs’ families and children suited for museum operations as a positive attribute (this impacts MDGs 1, 3 and 4).

Findings: By applying the sub-categories of the Human Rights section, we see that the Garden War Museum contributes to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th MDGs.

UNGC Chapter Two: Distinctive Activities Germane To Labor.

Principle 3: “Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.”

Principle 4: “Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor.”

3-1) Freedom of association: The Museum respects the rights of employees to associate, organize and bargain collectively in a lawful and peaceful manner, without penalty or interference (this impacts MDG 8).

3-2) International collaboration: Some of the technologies and systems used in the Garden War Museum, such as the high-tech installations in the main pool, the dancing fountains, IMAX cinema, outdoor laser movies, managerial systems, and architectural materials, were imported from friend countries. This shows that international collaboration is common in the Museum (this impacts MDG 8).

3-3) Educational collaboration: Schools and military universities have the opportunity to promote educational training classes, exhibit their achievements, and do research projects (this impacts MDG 2 and 8).

4-1) Forced labor precautions and prohibitions: The employment contracts are transparently and openly written and printed in both English and Persian languages, including the outlook and procedures of conditions of sustaining and/or leaving the job position (this impacts MDG 4).

4-2) Immigrants’ labor status: Since Afghan people constitute the highest number of immigrant workers in the country, there is a policy of strictly checking all Afghans’ identity and health cards until any type of forced labor disappears (this impacts MDG 6).

Findings: By applying principle 3 of the Labor section, the Museum contributes to the 2nd and 8th MDGs. By applying principle 4 of the Labor section, it contributes to the 4th and 6th MDGs.

Principle 5: “The effective abolition of child labor.”

Principle 6: “the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.”

5-1) Enforcing the minimum age of National labor law: The minimum age for workers in the Museum is eighteen. In addition to enforcing the minimum age requirement, the Garden War Museum avoids peddlers and beggars from the Museum settings (this impacts MDGs 4, 6 and 7).

5-2) Developing job skills and education: The children removed from the Museum for peddling or begging are now in the shelter of the National Organization of Children, where they receive educational and vocational training (this impacts MDGs 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8).

5-3) Reducing illiteracy: Two education and literacy centers are allocated for the children of war, aged 4-10, 10-14 and 14-17. In these centers, the children work to improve their writing and reading skills along with their social behavior. Moreover, there is a military vocational center adjacent to the literacy centers that serves those who want to gain practical experience and exercise with the military (this impacts MDGs 2, 4 and 8).

5-4) War the gloomy phenomena: There are some shows and illustrative galleries in the second salon (Wonder Salon) of the Museum, which show how orphaned children of the imposed war were dismayed and confronted with horrific scenes (this impacts MDG 4).

5-5) Promoting research: The Garden War Museum has one of the most advanced institutes, where comprehensive investigations are undertaken. This institute hosts enthusiastic researchers who study various aspects of war, including orphaned children. (This impacts MDGs 4 and 8.)

6-1) Employment strategies: There are clear, written criteria for employment that indicate the necessary qualifications, skills and social communication abilities for various positions. However, there is still an ambiguous job interview process that reveals the presence of religious beliefs and some hidden preferences (this impacts MDG 1).

6-2) Employment advertising: There are tangential job announcements in local and national media.

6-3) Complaints: The Museum welcomes suggestions and criticism with openly through its well-designed website.

6-4) Training programs: The majority of staff periodically receive up-to-date training sessions through technical and language programs as well as information campaigns. By this, employees can discuss recent challenges they have faced by their jobs, which increases promotion opportunities and makes the business more competitive (this impacts MDGs 1 and 2).

6-5) Disabled-friendly environment: The Garden War Museum is designed as a memorial to the Sacred Defenses, which resulted in a half million martyrs and disabled people. Consequently, the Museum was strategically planned and constructed to support the disabled and elderly experience the garden without problems (this impacts MDG 5).

6-6) Recruitment of talented individuals: Throughout the entire process of the Museum establishment, staff input and stakeholder involvement were sought. From the development of ideas to the advanced stages of planning, and throughout the promotional phases, the Museum took steps to recruit young talented persons in the form of “recent graduates and skilled workers” announcements (this impacts MDGs 1, 3 and 8).

6-7) Stakeholders’ association: In every part of the Museum process, especially in decision-making processes, representatives of the War, who are the real stakeholders of the Garden War Museum, take part and have an advisory and consulting role (this impacts MDGs 1, 3, 5 and 8).

6-8) Recruitment of the disabled: Several disabled individuals currently work at the Museum, for example, as accountants, war consultants, and limited tour guides (this impacts MDGs 1 and 8).

Findings: By applying principles 5 and 6, we see that the Museum contributes to the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 8th MDGs, respectively.

UNGC Chapter Three: Distinctive Activities Germane To Environment

Principle 7: “Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.”

Principle 8: “Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.”

Principle 9: “encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.”

7-1) Environmental Goals: Policies in the areas of waste, energy, water and ecosystems. The Museum has minimized its negative impact on the environment and encouraged environmentally responsible behavior among employees, guests, customers and business partners. All the activities comply with indicators defined by the International Organization of Standardization (14001) (this impacts MDGs 1, 6, 7 & 8).

7-2) Transparent and accessible code of conduct: There is an ethical and responsible code with respect to labor standards, working conditions, health and the environment (this impacts MDGs 6 and 7).

8-1) Communication with host community: The Museum offers workshops and information campaigns, two-way communications (through SMS), and sober consideration of inquiries and complaints, particularly environmentally related concerns (this impacts MDGs 7 and 8).

9-1) Development of green technologies: The Museum uses green technologies such as the application of photovoltaic cells, a solar powered umbrella, solar powered ground light, disposable bowls and cutlery and few others (this impacts MDGs 1, 6, 7 and 8).

9-2) Green publicity: The Museum struggles to perform its environmentally responsible endeavors through exhibitions, awareness campaigns, lectures, guided tours, publications and information services. These publicity endeavors familiarize the users with the Museum’s environmental activities (this impacts MDGs 7 and 8).

Findings: By applying the sub-categories of the Environment section, the Museum contributes to the 1st, 6th, 7th and 8th MDGs.

UNGC Chapter Four: Distinctive Activities Germane To Anti-corruption.

Principle 10: “Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.”

10-1) Staff training on Museum’s anti-corruptive policies: There is an ethical code of conduct that explains company policies regarding extortion and any kind of exploitation based on position, wage and so forth (this impacts all MDGs).

10-2) Overall monitoring: Government ambassadors conduct inspections of the operational parts of the Museum. The inspections extend to personnel from the head of the organization to a variety of support positions and include all parts of the Museum that have monetary exchanges and control (this impacts all MDGs).

Findings: By applying the Anti-Corruption section, we see that the Museum contributes to all MDGs, in a sense that its ability to prevent corruption, it invigorates all departments to achieve their Goals.

This preliminary assessment has given us a broad vision of how activities can be categorized, strengthened or corrected. The following charts and tables shed further lights on this assessment.


Figure 2 shows the scale of activities in the four areas of Labor, Human Rights, Environment and Anti-corruption in the Garden War Museum of War, Iran, Tehran. The magnitude of activities delineated in the four areas varies considerably. Nonetheless, not surprisingly, the majority of the activities have been carried out in the area of Labor, where the remaining areas account for nearly half of the entire activities at the Museum.


Figure 2: Value of the efficiency of four areas of the UNGC (based on current study).

The second most involved area was Human Rights, which accounted for 29.4% of activities. The third most active area of engagement was Environmental Responsibility, which accounted for 13.7% but still has room for improvement. The range of Anti-Corruption activities, with the rate of just 7.2%, showed least promisable area. Taken all together, though, the breadth and depth of these activities could ultimately establish a right balance and help to meet its ultimate manegerial Goals.

Figure 3 shows which group of people has been most affected by museum operations by activities carried out in five recognized areas of engagement in the Garden War Museum of War. It can help museum operators to evaluate if they have reasonably and equally served the target groups. It seems that four areas satisfactorily operated. In total, activities have been implemented at a rate of 50% in the categories of Host Community Support, Customer Service, and Stakeholders’ Involvement.


Figure 3: A number of activities in five areas of engagement in Garden War Museum of War.

With a total fourteen activities, Internal Management has held the highest number of activities. The second most successful area is Host Community Support. Success in this area is a particularly positive thing—, especially for war culture stakeholders. The second highest range of activities has been carried out in the Stakeholders’ Involvement sector. Both this area and the Customer Service have implemented many activities that have the power to affect clients and tourists. With only 5 identified actions, Suppliers’ Relation sector demonstrated stagnancy and need for further considerations.

According to the Table 1, all MDGs have been achieved through activities, though some of them have been easier to work out than others. It shows that G1 has been the most attainable Goal for the Museum and that it should also be the easiest to reach for a majority of businesses, which reveals why, in the Global Compact, the United Nations has emphasized business’s potential role in eradicating poverty. By contrast, G5 has been identified as the least benefited area, which merits further consideration.

Considered appropriate for most businesses Considered unique to the current case study
Areas of engagement UNGC’s Ten Principles Achieved MDGs Areas of engagement UNGC’ Ten Principles Achieved MDGs
-Internal Management
-Host Community
Principle 1 G1 –G2-G3-G4-G6-G7 Host Community Support
-Customer Service
Principle 1 G1-G2-G3-G4-G7
-Host Community Support
Principle 2 G1 –G3-G4-G6-G8 -Host Community
-Customer Service
Principle 2 G1-G2-G3-G4
Principle 3 G1-G2-G8 -Internal Management
Principle 3 G2-G8
Principle 4 G4 -Internal Management
Principle 4 G6
-Host Community
Principle 5 G1-G2-G4-G6-G7-G8 -Host Community
Principle 5 G2-G4-G8
-Customer Service
-Host Community
Principle 6 G1-G2-G3-G8 -Internal Management
-Customer Service
Principle 6 G1-G3-G8
Internal Management-
Stakeholders’ Involvement
-Host Community Support
Principle 7 G1-G6-G7- G8 -Internal Management
Principle 7 G1-G6-G7- G8
-Host Community
Principle 8 G1-G6-G7- G8 -Stakeholders’
Principle 8 G1-G6-G7- G8
-Host Community
Principle 9 G1-G6-G7- G8 -Stakeholders’ Involvement Principle 9 G1-G6-G7- G8
Principle 10 All goals -Stakeholders’
Principle 10 All goals

Table 1: Access to the MDGs and communication with principles and engagement areas (based on current study).

Internal management employed most of the UNGC principles and reached most of MDGs in a majority of enterprises, while Stakeholders’ Involvement is the same in Museum operations. On the one hand, when compared to the Figure 3, Internal Management’s 14 activities are relatively well distributed and only exclude a few principles. On the contrary, despite satisfying figures, Figure 3 shows that Customer Service is the area of least engagement, and it only supports Principle 6. The same can be said for the Museum in the suppliers’ Relations area (Table 1).


Most activities related to Principle 1 have supported most MDGs, with six Goals that could apply to a preponderance of businesses and five Goals that are unique to museums (Table 1). This demonstrates that organizations should adhere to human rights in order to better serve their respective communities and societies. Perhaps the Canadian government has already taken this into consideration, as it is about to establish a Human Rights museum with huge investments [6].

Further, along with Principle 1, Principle 5 has been the greatest grantor to a majority of organizations (Table 1). In contrast, Principle 4 has only committed to G6, which shows that the Museum should develop and add a variety of activities to this area. Overall, the current study indicates that museums and businesses develop and make positive impacts on the quality of life of societies when they implement UNGC strategies. Further, this study suggests valuing and recognizing the below nine Golden factors, derived from this study, which would alter the overall planning success and outcomes of the Museums:

1. Museum type

2. Museum extension (physical development and recognition)

3. Museum Locality

4. Enthusiasm and dedication of workers and managers

5. Pre-defining and listing immediate and ultimate Goals

6. Volunteerism as a vehicle in helping societies and boosting museum access and performance

7. Capability to create partnership with suppliers, entrepreneurs, and investors

8. Regular supervisory control

9. Tourism cooperation.

However, some distinct factors are more vital than others in promoting the Garden War Museum, which is situated in a highly polluted area in the middle of the dynamic capital city of Iran, Tehran. Moreover, due to its location and the extent of its environmental responsibility, environmental prosperity should be one of the Museum’s highest priorities. Also, this museum is expected to be a meritorious delegate of both the survivors and the martyrs of the Iran- Iraq War, so host community support and stakeholder involvement should be considered a high priority. After all, museums with step-bystep plans, vigorous performance measurement, and a commitment to the first eight Golden Factors can better visualize and achieve their predefined Goals (Golden factor 5).

However, one factor that remains out of reach for museums is collaboration and mutual benefit with the tourism industry, which can only be provided through the efforts of the tourism industry. Without the cooperation of the tourism industry, all of the efforts of museums will be unfruitful while there is no community participation and enjoyment [14]. Tourists are clients both for museums and the tourism industry. As mentioned above, some eco war museums were established in peripheral areas across Iran, but they failed to attract many tourists. However, their failure led to huge financing opportunities for the Garden War Museum in the capital city, which has been effective to reach a large audience, disseminate the culture of war, and accordingly gain more profits. This shows the vital role of tourism in making museums productive.


Due to current events and the economic crisis that has gripped many countries around the world, planning and finding alternatives and appropriate financial solutions, in particular with the aid of cultural heritage and tourism, has been welcomed by governments around the world. Developing countries that do not have precious objects to exhibit have found intangible heritage to be useful and have started to share their cultures as well [15].

Overall, museums have been brought to light as significant contributors to cultures and economies, capable of providing prosperity in their communities. Notwithstanding, new types of museums appear every day around the world. These new institutions have advanced upon the slightest assets to create and display cultural legacies. But positive attitude is not the measure of success and taking advantage of museum potentials require delicate operational strategies and multilateral business plans.

Based on the current study, museums that meet their own operating obligations and wish to achieve MDGs, either internally or externally, may contribute to society by:

• Implementing the United Nation Global Compact strategies (UNGC-ten principles),

• Implementing activities within the scope of UNGC principles that would, in turn, benefit different MDGs,

• Defining museum’s uniqueness and competitive advantages in achieving its ultimate Goals,

• Evaluating activities by area of engagement,

• Disseminating evaluation results to the public and take actions to strengthen weak areas,

• Considering the nine Golden Factors,

• Clarifying museum policies with regard to benefiting individual segments of society,

• Provisioning essential infrastructures for attracting tourists,

Tourism can help museums by:

• Clarifying tourists’ role in benefiting societies,

• Defining tourist obligations before, during and after museum visits,

• Planning for cooperative responsibilities with the Museum,

• Helping and co-devising strategies with host communities in being hospitable and ready towards the potential tourists,

• Explaining museum heritage through advertising and outreach,

• Providing sustainable visits and usage plans to the Museum,

• Having contracts with museums which are non-profit, is set up and operated with community members, in a fashion through which brings about prosperity into local communities,

• Identifying the role of tourism in the environmental, economic and social sustainability.


Once a museum has properly completed its managerial obligations, it will still only be able to achieve its ultimate Goals if tourism fulfills its role. Per UNWTO declaration [16], with respect to economic, social and environmental profits, tourism can help businesses to reach the UN Goals through:

• Incorporating a Global Code of Ethics for Tourism into their business management strategy,

• Supporting an ST-EP project,

• Utilizing Hotel Energy Solution tools,

• Protecting children in tourism,

• Following the Tour Operators Initiative (TOI),

• Offering responsible travel.

The last item seriously impacts museums. Inbound and domestic tourists, or clientele of any type, boost the overall influence of museums if they act like a responsible traveler. Responsible travel is travel with a purpose, and it requires choosing destinations, accommodations, and tour operators that work to protect the environment and benefit local cultures and communities [17]. In the case of museums, the responsible traveler does not choose private museums but rather chooses to patronize ethnic or community-beneficial museums that have clear policies about their undertakings. Travelers who hire tour operators should be aware of which operators have contracts or share common Goals with these kinds of museums and try to be cognizant of the effect of middle-men in directing unequal prosperity into communities [18].

A responsible traveler does not displace or remove expensive items from the Museum space; s/he uses environmentally friendly technologies to support green policies. Moreover, when spending money in a museum, the responsible makes sure that his/her expenditures will benefit recognized communities. Responsible travelers are familiar with their own obligations, and they plan their trip accordingly. However, it does not end there; they continue to be responsible travelers after their return by describing their experiences to friends and family, conducting further research on their destination’s heritage, writing, conferencing, sharing pictures of the destination, adding affiliate charity organizations, etc. [19].

These activities complement all fundamental museum-based efforts and fulfill both immediate and ultimate Goals. While the presence of tourists in significant numbers is necessary, responsible tourists go a long way toward proving that quality matters more than quantity.

1The data was collected and drafted in 2011. During author’s transition to the U.S. there might have been changes in the musseum’s operations. Therefore it issuggested that this study be viewed as a model and approach to evaluation rather than findings per se.

21-n) means unique to principle 1

32-n) means unique to principle 2


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