Historically, access to the rural landscape was limited to either those that worked the land or those that were born into it, whether gentry or peasant. In Europe, rural lands were set aside for recreational use by the gentry, such as hunting, whereas in the USA rural lands were seen as the drivers of a distinct culture capable of comparing to the rich cultures of Europe. These lands in the USA became protected areas that should be open for ‘public resort and recreation’, and with the emergence of the railways both Europe and the USA opened up rural landscapes to mass tourism. Initially these were the destinations for the wealthy middle classes from the cities and on a global basis rural communities started to develop on the back of this tourism growth. This is a shift away from agriculture and rural industry, towards the service sector economies, driven by recreation and tourism.
As a consequence, rural tourism has grown and is now synonymous with nature tourism. Many rural areas have diversified to cater for tourism and recreation and in so doing countries around the World enhance economic benefits from rural tourism. Some third world countries have become very dependent on rural tourism to assist economic survival for their communities. However, on a more global scale, the role of tourism has been to develop these economies whilst at the same time framework around strong conservation policies that could be termed as Balanced Business, which has derived from ecological modernization. It is thus tourism itself that is actually driving conservation and any managed nature is managed to provide a harmonious co-existence process between corporate actions and conservation. Tourism and recreation drivers in the rural landscape represent economic growth sitting alongside environmental policies, whereby considerate actions are dictated by a societal requirement.
This session aims to examine the important position that stakeholders have in driving forward economic growth whilst maintaining rural identity and real countryside. It will be important to discuss the past, current and future co-existence processes between tourism, recreation and rural landscapes.
If you would like to submit an abstract for a presentation at this session please go to: http://www.pecsrl2014.com/abstracts.html for further details or email the organisers as below.
Richard Stones – University of Exeter, UK
Andreas Skriver Hansen – University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Contact corresponding organizer: