Rural Tourism

A special issue of Tourism and Hospitality (ISSN 2673-5768).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2023) | Viewed by 17118

Special Issue Editors

Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: agricultural economics; rural development; agro-environmental economics; farm management; productivity and efficiency estimation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences, University of Molise, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
Interests: agricultural economics; rural development; assessment of public programmes; value chains and enhancement of local resources; perception of food consumers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Broadly speaking, rural tourism refers to the movement of people to rural areas to carry out several activities, based on nature, on agriculture, and on rural lifestyles. Thus, rural tourism may be related to various forms of environment and countryside, small towns, and some kind of interaction with the local population (concerning their work activities, their cultural heritage, etc.).

In recent years, this form of tourism has grown significantly in several world regions. The reasons of this growth can be linked to both the demand and supply. The tourist flows are looking for new forms of experiences outside of traditional circuits, and their “new” needs are often “inspired” towards sustainability and responsibility principles. These needs have probably been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, for example increasing the search for less crowded places. In relation to its complexity, from the point of view of supply, a wide range of “rural touristic products” can be identified and developed, some centred on “adventurous” or sport practices, some on food tasting and cooking, some on artistic experiences, some on social rituals, etc. In all these products, the different forms of hospitality—in particular small accommodation facilities—play a crucial role. 

The new trends in tourism demand have been considered an important factor in promoting local development of rural areas and to lead socio-economic and environmental changes in them. Rural tourism can offer job opportunities to rural populations, but also to maintaining the rural landscape, to enhance local heritage, to create new value in agriculture, to guarantee family employment, to include women in paid work, etc. Rural tourism is increasingly considered as an element of revitalization of depressed areas, as well as an opportunity for diversification of local firms, especially in case of farms.

In this context, several policies have been developed, at various scales, aiming to promote rural tourism.  Nonetheless, it is difficult to set universal guidelines for such kind of interventions, considered the need to comply with specific areas and communities.

This Special Issue aims to attract innovative contributions, both from scholars and stakeholders, to provide theoretical and empirical analysis on rural tourism by the supply, demand, and institutional perspectives. The editor encourages original research, review articles, notes, and commentaries with particular reference to submission that take into account economic, social, cultural and environmental implications related to rural tourism, also in an interdisciplinary approach.

Dr. Fabio A. Madau
Prof. Dr. Corrado Ievoli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Tourism and Hospitality is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • rural tourism destinations and flows
  • rural tourism experiences and products
  • rural small accommodation facilities
  • rural tourism and consumers’ needs
  • tourism and multifunctional farms
  • rural lifestyle, culture and tourism
  • covid-19 and tourism reshaping
  • rural areas and cultural heritage exploitation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
Attractive Landscape Features as Drivers for Sustainable Mountain Tourism Experiences
by Thomas Dax and Oliver Tamme
Tour. Hosp. 2023, 4(3), 374-389; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp4030023 - 23 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1567
Abstract
Mountains are perceived as places of biodiversity, as attractive places with breathtaking aesthetic views and epitomized by their unique landscape features. As mountains are the second most demanded outdoor destination category at a global level after beaches and islands, the steady growth of [...] Read more.
Mountains are perceived as places of biodiversity, as attractive places with breathtaking aesthetic views and epitomized by their unique landscape features. As mountains are the second most demanded outdoor destination category at a global level after beaches and islands, the steady growth of tourism places high pressure on sensitive mountain ecosystems. As can be observed from tourism practice in mountain environments, the distribution of tourism activities is highly uneven. In the Alps, one of the best-known regions with relentless tourism growth, a substantial concentration of tourism intensity can be traced to specific locations and valleys, whereas other parts have to cope with trends of marginalization. In this situation, many concerned stakeholders have long advocated for more balanced economic and tourism development. The initiative of “Mountaineering Villages” promoted by the Alpine Convention is one of a few respective actions to shift perspectives and persuade tourists to engage in sustainable tourism activities. The paper explores how these activities are linked to the balanced use of cultural landscapes and the narratives that are exposed as convincing development models in these regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism)
14 pages, 1145 KiB  
Article
Rural Culinary Tourism in Southern Europe: Emerging Educational Needs of a Growing Sector
by Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco, Amedeo Boscolo and Dauro Mattia Zocchi
Tour. Hosp. 2023, 4(2), 293-306; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp4020018 - 04 May 2023
Viewed by 1756
Abstract
Rural culinary tourism is a growing sector in European tourism and is a key resource for rural development, in particular in Southern Europe. The boom of the sector that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, however, poses important questions concerning the actual capacity of local [...] Read more.
Rural culinary tourism is a growing sector in European tourism and is a key resource for rural development, in particular in Southern Europe. The boom of the sector that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, however, poses important questions concerning the actual capacity of local actors to grasp this opportunity. The paper investigates the main trends in rural tourism in Southern Europe and the specific educational needs entrepreneurs express based on extensive research conducted in seven Southern European countries (France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey) within the Erasmus + project “The European Network for the Promotion of Culinary and Proximity Tourism in Rural Areas” in 2022. Specifically, the research was conducted through focus group discussions with professionals and stakeholders of the project carried out in the target countries involving 76 respondents. Based on the data collected, this paper indicates a way forward for the new gastronomes to understand this sector and invest their professionality in it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism)
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12 pages, 921 KiB  
Article
Dex-Based Evaluation of Sustainable Rural Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina
by Adis Puška, Anđelka Štilić, Miroslav Nedeljković and Aleksandar Maksimović
Tour. Hosp. 2022, 3(4), 919-930; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp3040059 - 09 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1709
Abstract
The research objectives presented in this paper are to assess the current state of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rural tourism offer and to recommend a course of action for its development based on the model’s data that was gathered from subject-matter experts. In this [...] Read more.
The research objectives presented in this paper are to assess the current state of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rural tourism offer and to recommend a course of action for its development based on the model’s data that was gathered from subject-matter experts. In this paper, the multicriteria analysis method DEX (Decision EXpert) was utilized to assess the capacity of rural tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) and to obtain the results. All establishments were rated “very good”, seeing that they made use of the natural beauty that BIH has to offer. The outcomes of using this model were used to generate suggestions for the long-term development of rural tourism in BIH. The contribution of the employed model is in the developed starting points for the advancements of rural tourism in BIH, and the proposed model presents a novel method for evaluating a nation’s tourism potential that could be used in future studies in other tourism-related fields as well. The limitations of this paper stem from the fact that not all tourist establishments were considered due to the lack of unified records for all of these establishments. The model used in this research, on the other hand, is applicable to all tourist capacities, which is an advantage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism)
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17 pages, 1444 KiB  
Article
Rural Tourism in and after the COVID-19 Era: “Revenge Travel” or Chance for a Degrowth-Oriented Restart? Cases from Ireland and Germany
by Sabine Panzer-Krause
Tour. Hosp. 2022, 3(2), 399-415; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp3020026 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4913
Abstract
Focusing on rural destinations and calling on the evolutionary resilience concept as a theoretical lens, this paper investigates whether COVID-19 provokes “revenge tourism” after periods of lockdown or whether the pandemic can be used as a chance for a degrowth-oriented restart that forms [...] Read more.
Focusing on rural destinations and calling on the evolutionary resilience concept as a theoretical lens, this paper investigates whether COVID-19 provokes “revenge tourism” after periods of lockdown or whether the pandemic can be used as a chance for a degrowth-oriented restart that forms the foundation for a more sustainable tourism sector. Analysing tourism data and documents regarding political and economic actors’ actions in two rural destinations in Ireland (Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark) and Germany (Southeast Rügen Biosphere Reserve), the study reveals that so far, neither “revenge travel” nor a degrowth-oriented restart of tourism can be identified. Rather, current development indicates that the two rural destinations show resilience in the sense of bouncing back to the pre-COVID-19 era and a continuation of further growth-oriented rural tourism as far as possible under the conditions of political COVID-19 measures. As this development will not allow the sector to genuinely come to grips with the negative ecological and sociocultural effects of rural tourism, the paper pleads for initiation of a debate about influencing business realities on a supranational level, and in this context, about the value of rural tourism destinations and possible forms of financial compensation for degrowth in rural tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism)
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Review

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16 pages, 3033 KiB  
Review
Cultural Integration and Rural Tourism Development: A Scoping Literature Review
by Muyan Tang and Hongzhang Xu
Tour. Hosp. 2023, 4(1), 75-90; https://doi.org/10.3390/tourhosp4010006 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5274
Abstract
Rural tourism plays an increasing role in maintaining sustainable rural development. Integrating culture into rural tourism is multifaceted. Local communities have often been regarded as homogeneous, and different voices within them are selectively presented or re-interpreted by those in power. A better understanding [...] Read more.
Rural tourism plays an increasing role in maintaining sustainable rural development. Integrating culture into rural tourism is multifaceted. Local communities have often been regarded as homogeneous, and different voices within them are selectively presented or re-interpreted by those in power. A better understanding of how and why cultures are integrated into rural tourism is urgently needed. This paper aims to investigate (1) the aims and motives of tourism managers to integrate cultural concepts into rural tourism; (2) who has participated in the cultural integration process; and (3) how cultures have been integrated into rural tourism. Based on a scoping literature review, we found that cultures could add more attractions, such as historical heritage, artwork, cultural landscape, customs, food, and language, to the natural landscape and bring more tourists to rural areas. However, integrating cultures into rural tourism is not always successful. Conflicts of interest among different stakeholders are also often found. Some of the worst cases of cultural integration have even destroyed the original natural landscape and local cultures. While cultural integration is complicated, injustice and perverse effects do not have to be a consequence of integrating cultures into rural tourism. Multi-way communication among tourism providers, managers, and consumers can mitigate disruptive outcomes and unlock positive social outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism)
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