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Irma Potočnik-Slavič

The relevance of linking favourable business environments with embeddedness SMEs in rural areas of the Goriška region, Slovenia

Contemporary Slovene rural areas as multifunctional localities with heterogeneous and mosaic structures and, exposed to enormous restructuring, are trapped between traditional processes and structures on one side and modern development processes on the other. Goriška (predominately a rural area) is part of a strongly integrated cross-border region with a very diverse geographical structure, huge historical, cultural and natural heritage and a significant share of LFAs with increasing levels of inter-regional disparities. This paper focuses on networking of SMEs in these Slovene rural areas. The results confirm the complex nature of the relationships between favourable business environments (built-up and supportive business milieu) and processes of embeddedness and international integration.

Open access

Irma Potočnik-Slavič and Serge Schmitz


Based on evidence from nine countries (UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, and Ireland), this special issue analyses the fabrics of farm tourism in Europe. It identifies two main development trends: on one hand, a small scale and dispersed activities, at the other hand a product in response to tourist market demand. A brief overview of existing farm tourism practices in the European rural areas indicated an interesting interface between the forms and dimension of farm tourism embeddedness in local environment and at the same time, the ways and range of internationalization of farm tourism business

Open access

Dejan Cigale, Barbara Lampič and Irma Potočnik-Slavič


In Slovenia, farm tourism is among the most important supplementary activities on farm. On the other hand, its role within tourism sector is rather modest. The paper approaches the phenomenon of farm tourism from tourism supply and demand perspectives. Employed qualitative methods involved farm tourism holders and potential tourists on farm. The results have pointed out that the occurrence of tourist farms is primarily the result of farmers' needs and opportunities, and only on the second place of expressed demand of tourism market. Farm tourism supply and demand factors are interrelated in a rather complex way. Supply is only selectively influenced by (perceived) demand since farm tourism providers stick to extant idea/image of farm tourism and they are not putting it in question. In this way they also affect tourism demand since they shape a specific construct/image of farm tourism which attracts only some types of tourists.