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  • Author: Karolina Sawicka x
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Recently, changes to our pace of living and to our quality of life (including demands of our leisure possibilities) have been rapid. We now expect higher standards of living filled with goods, services, and recreation activities unimaginable some decades ago. In the last two decades, there have been massive changes in work, communication, and travel resulting in what could be described as “leisure revolution.” The opportunities have increased in terms of both the time available and the variety of ways in which we can spend this time. Several aspects of physical exercise benefits are well recognized: we know that active recreation is especially stimulating and rewarding and that it helps to achieve sharper mental awareness and heightened consciousness. To be able to enjoy everyday outdoor active recreation and sports (netball, badminton, etc.), there has to be a network of recreation grounds and a supply of facilities that respond to the needs and expectations of society.

The study of contemporary trends of leisure provision could be an essential spatial planning tool when contemporary housing estates functional programs are considered. Our research study (conducted on the basis of grants ds-114 and ds-144 AWF JP Warsaw; 2008-2012, supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education) aimed to provide information on present trends in the area of active recreation that could impinge on leisure facilities expected at urban housing estates (outdoor recreation grounds).


The general objective of this paper is to present and discuss the factors that need to be taken into account to ensure that the development and management of religious tourism at rural sites was sustainable from an economic, environmental and socio-cultural point of view. Among other issues, sustainable religious tourism means accessibility to the sanctuaries, protection of cultural and heritage values of the local community, benefits for the local residents and meaningful experience for visitors. Authors were especially interested in the less popular, more remotely located holy sites in Mazovia Region (Poland) and two concerns: readiness to respond the needs of persons with different disabilities and local community opinion on tourists. As was documented by our research outcomes despite the recent numerous improvements, the most popular rural sanctuaries in Mazovia Region, remain only partially accessible for persons with disabilities. As masses of pilgrims have a significant effect on wellbeing and everyday life quality of residents (contributing both to positive and to negative effects), those who accept that tourists are important for economic development, benefit from it, creating ‘smart host area’. These rural communities which are not knowledgeable about positive impacts – see only negative consequences.


Contemporary rural museums perform not only the traditional tasks but are also the places where both the visitors and the local community members have chances for entertainment and attractive leisure time. Consequently one can find in museums numerous catering offers such as cafes, bistros, snack bars, restaurants, pubs and wine bars. The material presented is the result of theoretical and field studies carried out in the selected open air museums in Poland and focused on newly introduced commercial activities (as catering). Our research results show that the development of sustainable cultural tourism as a generator of income in the open air rural museums is important in the challenging economic time. Museums having catering services of different character could easier overcome financial struggle. Moreover there is no doubt that the introduction of an interesting and ambitious cuisine in the restaurants located in the rural open air museum is of great importance also in other terms: popularization of the food culture, rural tradition of region, healthy diet and lifestyle, chance to increase the museum attractiveness, important economic support to the museum and the local community and the improvement of living quality.