University of agribusiness and rural development, Regional development of Central and Eastern European countries

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Opportunities for sustainable rural development through agritourism: a case study of customers and local residents’ behavior in a small Bulgarian municipality
Sonya Bukova

Last modified: 2015-10-12


Current trends in tourism industry development towards sustainable tourism products and practices in accordance to the values of ecological consciousness, respect and preservation of local history and traditions, along with the demand of different and more individual and specialized tourist products, lead to the shift from mass tourism to some alternative and specialized forms targeted at rural regions. Current study examines the opportunities for sustainable rural development through the example of a Bulgarian municipality conducting marketing research and considering the fact that the main incomes in Bulgarian rural regions come from economic activities in the sectors of agriculture and processing of agricultural produce which could be integrated to fact developing tourism activities recently. The problem of regional uneven development and rural depopulation as a whole is considered through the notion of the importance of local population’s benefits and the lowest social and ecological load in connection to environmental protection, economic development through incomes diversification and employment, social justice, conservation of culture and accountability for the sustainable use of local resources. Development of agritourism product in small and infamous for now rural regions aiming at their economic and social development would bring many benefits from price to comfort for potential customers too.


rural development, agritourism, sustainable development

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