Rural Tourism As Promoter Of Rural Development – Prospects And Limitations: Case Study Findings From A Pilot Projectpromoting Village Tourism

  • 1 Institute for Rural Studies, The Thünen Institute, German Federal Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany


The article questions where and how rural tourism (with special focus on small scale village tourism) that is often focused on in rural development initiatives can contribute to rural development in the light of the OECD’s ‘new rural paradigm’. For this purpose theoretical findings from research about tourism and factors of success of rural development processes are combined and reflected against findings of empirical research conducted in five eastern German rural regions. It is shown that although tourism might, in the majority of rural regions, induce only small economic impacts - which indicate failure as a factor for regional development - it can cause important non-economic implications. Thus, even in regions not suitable for tourism, tourism can function as a vehicle for rural development. Thereby it is important to develop a suitable strategy and consider the specific regional situation and potentials of success.

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