Special Issue "Rural Tourism and Community Development"

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Iulia Cristina Muresan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economic Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca 400372, Romania
Interests: rural tourism, tourism management, service quality, business administration; small business; sustainable development; agriculture; sustainability; marketing management; customer satisfaction; entrepreneurship
Prof. Dr. Horațiu Felix Arion
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economic Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Interests: value chain; agri-food supply chains; agribusiness; rural development; sustainable development; rural tourism; agricultural economy; cluster; tourism management; entrepreneurship
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Diana Elena Dumitraș
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economic Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca 400372, Romania
Interests: sustainable tourism; outdoor recreation; natural resource and environmental economics; non-market valuation; quantitative research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent decades, tourism has become an important activity in numerous rural regions, enhancing the well-being of rural communities. Globalization, advanced technologies, and international competition has affected the rural economy and has led to the decrease of income from traditional rural farming, while non-farming activities have started to gain more space. In this context, rural tourism is an important key factor for prosperous socio-economic development of communities. Rural areas can be strengthened and revitalized only through proper and viable tourism based on sustainable development. Development of tourism influences the development of other sectors such as food processing and handcrafting, which can contribute to the well-being of the entire community. Sustainable tourism development is strongly related to local communities and their perceptions and attitudes towards tourism. At the same time, understanding local residents’ perceptions and expectations can facilitate strategies and development plans in order to maximaze the positive effects of tourism and minimize its negative ones. Tourists’ role in this process is also crucial through their behavior and interactions/values related to the historic and cultural heritage of the local communities and also through their expectations related to the quality of services. Authors are invited to contribute to this Special Issue by submitting theoretical and empirical studies addressing any of the above topics.

Dr. Iulia Cristina Muresan
Prof. Dr. Horațiu Felix Arion
Prof. Dr. Diana Elena Dumitraș
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • rural tourism
  • sustainable tourism
  • local communities
  • tourism impact
  • tourism enabling factors
  • tourism policies

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Article
Analysis on Tourists’ Preferences for Rural Tourism Destinations in Romania
Societies 2021, 11(3), 92; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11030092 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
Consumer behavior plays an important role in establishing the marketing strategies of a tourism destination. Analysis of traveling motivation offers valuable information regarding the characteristics and trends of tourism demand. In this context, the aim of this paper is to determine tourists’ preferences [...] Read more.
Consumer behavior plays an important role in establishing the marketing strategies of a tourism destination. Analysis of traveling motivation offers valuable information regarding the characteristics and trends of tourism demand. In this context, the aim of this paper is to determine tourists’ preferences regarding rural tourism destinations. To achieve the purpose of the paper, a survey was conducted among tourists from rural areas of Cluj County. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and statistical tests were applied to determine if there were any significant differences among different groups. The results revealed that the respondents prefer to travel in small groups, especially during summer. They are concerned about the security and safety of the destination, and the price also plays an important role in choosing a tourism destination. Cultural attractions and adventure tourism possibilities are more appreciated by younger respondents. Future research should focus on post-pandemic tourist behavior and new tourist products should be developed to fulfill tourists’ expectations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism and Community Development)
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Article
Exploring Residents’ Perceptions of the Socio-Cultural Benefits of Tourism Development in the Mountain Area
Societies 2021, 11(3), 83; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11030083 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 885
Abstract
Development of tourism affected the socio-cultural environment of many destinations. Previous studies have focused more on analyzing the impact of tourism on all three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, environment and socio-cultural); therefore, the present paper examines tourism development’s impact with regard to [...] Read more.
Development of tourism affected the socio-cultural environment of many destinations. Previous studies have focused more on analyzing the impact of tourism on all three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, environment and socio-cultural); therefore, the present paper examines tourism development’s impact with regard to the socio-cultural benefits that enhance sustainable tourism development. A survey based on a questionnaire was employed in June 2018 in a mountain village in Cluj County, Romania. The collected data were analyzed using principal component analysis, and several statistical tests were conducted. The results indicated that the respondents have a positive attitude towards tourism development and socio-cultural perceived benefits. Older people and those running a business tend to perceive more positively the benefits of tourism development. The findings of the research could contribute to future development strategies, as it is well known that supporting local communities influences the success of tourism destination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism and Community Development)
Article
Rural Community-Perceived Benefits of a Music Festival
Societies 2021, 11(2), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020059 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 875
Abstract
There is a general consensus that tourism activity must have the support of a local community in order to build sustainable tourism development. Among the competitive Romanian tourism products, festival tourism should be mentioned, even though it is relatively new. Therefore, given the [...] Read more.
There is a general consensus that tourism activity must have the support of a local community in order to build sustainable tourism development. Among the competitive Romanian tourism products, festival tourism should be mentioned, even though it is relatively new. Therefore, given the traditional communities from rural areas which are confronted with an international flux of tourists, it is vital to analyze the perception of and support for festivals. The presumption is that if there are benefits for the locals, support increases. In order to achieve the objective of the study, research has been conducted among the local rural community of Bontida, which is the location of an international annual music festival. The instrument used was a questionnaire which had four parts that aimed to measure the cultural benefits and costs of the festival and the sense of well-being of the community, given the fact that previous studies focused mainly on the economic and environmental impacts, but not so much on the socio-cultural dimensions. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that the benefits are greater than the perceived costs, a fact which is encouraging from the perspective of developing a sustainable tourism strategy, both by the local authorities and private stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism and Community Development)
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Article
Adventure Tourism: Insight from Experienced Visitors of Romanian National and Natural Parks
Societies 2021, 11(2), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020041 - 02 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 566
Abstract
The rapid growth of adventure tourism is remarked all over the world, being considered as a modern form of tourism. This study attempted to investigate the preferences of experienced visitors of Romanian national and natural parks with the main focus on understanding what [...] Read more.
The rapid growth of adventure tourism is remarked all over the world, being considered as a modern form of tourism. This study attempted to investigate the preferences of experienced visitors of Romanian national and natural parks with the main focus on understanding what motives describe the three elements that define adventure tourism: physical activity, natural environment and cultural immersion, and what is the level of satisfaction regarding the quality of facilities and services. An online survey was filled in by 137 members of adventure tourism groups, being further grouped based on their experiences. Results indicate that experienced participants better appreciated the opportunity to be engaged in physical activity and to explore the natural environment. Cultural experience was perceived as similar by both groups. The level of satisfaction about facilities and services provided by the national and natural parks and adjacent rural communities was similar among groups, except for that about the existing information panels. Future development actions should address both groups to enhance their willingness to revisit the areas and increase the attractiveness of tourism in rural areas situated in the neighborhood of parks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism and Community Development)
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Concept Paper
Tourism and Livelihood Sovereignty: A Theoretical Introduction and Research Agenda for Arctic Contexts
Societies 2021, 11(3), 105; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11030105 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The need to understand how Arctic coastal communities can remain resilient in the wake of rapid anthropogenic change that is disproportionately affecting the region—including, but not limited to, climate instability and the increasing reach of the tourism sector—is more urgent than ever. With [...] Read more.
The need to understand how Arctic coastal communities can remain resilient in the wake of rapid anthropogenic change that is disproportionately affecting the region—including, but not limited to, climate instability and the increasing reach of the tourism sector—is more urgent than ever. With sovereignty discourse at the forefront of Arctic sustainability research, integrating existing sovereignty scholarship into the tourism literature yields new theory-building opportunities. The purpose of this paper is to conceptually analyze the implications of (1) applying both theoretical and social movement ideas about sovereignty to tourism research in Arctic coastal communities, (2) the extent to which these ideas revolve around livelihood sovereignty in particular, (3) the influence of existing tourism development on shifting livelihood sovereignty dynamics, and, ultimately, (4) the opportunities for further research that enables more sovereign sustainable tourism development across the Arctic region. Given the northward march of the tourism frontier across Arctic regions, an exploration of tourism’s influence on sovereignty presents a timely opportunity to advance theory and promote policy incentives for forms of tourism development that are more likely to yield sustainable and resilient outcomes for Arctic communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism and Community Development)
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