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Sustainable Countryside Perspectives – Cohesion between Rural Geography and Tourism

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2021) | Viewed by 39552

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Geographical Institute “Jovan Cvijić” of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA), 9 Djure Jakšića St., 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: rural development; rural economy; agritourism; tourism’s impact assessment; community-based economic planning
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Guest Editor
Institute of Sports, Tourism and Service, South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk 454080, Russia
Interests: competency-based approach in tourism education; educational tourism; sustainable development; socio-cultural environment; project training

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

All over the globe, rural areas are changing rapidly. Rural geography and rural tourism, as evolving approaches to sustainable planning of the countryside, aim to provide economic, social, cultural, and environmental advantages to community members while enhancing sustainable principles at the local level. Despite diverse publishing advancements in the last decades, insights into the nature of contemporary rural studies are currently lacking in the literature. The need for more research to be conducted to further advance the literature by addressing significant research issues and challenges has thus been highlighted. This is essentially the motivation for launching the current Special Issue.

Integrating empirical and theoretical activities, sustainability mechanisms, and the wellbeing of rural communities serve as the focus for this Special Issue. Conceptual and empirical, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method studies are all welcome. The Special Issue will be particularly focused on original contributions to rural geography and tourism theory considered as novel and interesting in the broad category of sustainable rural studies, although they should adhere to the mission of publishing works with a theoretical focus with implications that are generalizable beyond a specific city or country.

I encourage authors to submit original research articles, reviews, critical perspectives, case studies, and viewpoint articles on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Contemporary trends in rural geography;
  • Rural tourism as a part of global tendencies in the travel industry;
  • Methodological aspects of the overall rural development and welfare of the countryside;
  • Rural geographical research fostering resilience in the face of rural communities’ problems and events;
  • Role of rural tourism in the sustainability principles: worldwide examples and comparisons;
  • The processes of assessing rural strategies’ contributions to sustainability;
  • Stakeholder involvement in rural economy and community-based development;
  • The evolution of rural tourism, its history, assessments, and contemporary organization;
  • Lessons learned from geographical research and practice of non-urban community organization and perspective;
  • Conceptual connections of inclusion, resilience, and other ideas to local economy;
  • Case studies of rural tourism management, covering successes and failures as appropriate;
  • The evolution and future of rural planning and progress.

Dr. Marko D. Petrović
Dr. Julia A. Syromiatnikova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • community-based development
  • local economy
  • rural tourism
  • rural geography
  • sustainable policy
  • locals’ wellbeing
  • impact assessment

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 1899 KiB  
Article
Factors That Influence Sustainable Selection and Reselection Intentions Regarding Soluble/Instant Coffee—The Case of Serbian Consumers
by Tamara Gajić, Jovanka Popov Raljić, Ivana Blešić, Milica Aleksić, Marko D. Petrović, Milan M. Radovanović, Darko B. Vuković, Višnja Sikimić, Tatjana Pivac, Marija Kostić, Dejan Sekulić, Dragan Vukolić, Mirjana Penić and Olja Munitlak Ivanović
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10701; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710701 - 28 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2780
Abstract
Soluble or instant espresso coffee in capsules with added values is a product that is increasingly recognized as a healthy lifestyle habit, which often goes together with the expansion of spa centers and spa hotels. In addition to the theoretical and empirical examination [...] Read more.
Soluble or instant espresso coffee in capsules with added values is a product that is increasingly recognized as a healthy lifestyle habit, which often goes together with the expansion of spa centers and spa hotels. In addition to the theoretical and empirical examination of sustainable drinking habits regarding different types of instant espresso coffee in Serbia, the aim was to define, by applying the theory of planned behavior, the relationship between certain factors that influence instant espresso coffee beverage reselection. The research model was developed using a sample of 1385 soluble/instant espresso coffee consumers. Structural equation modeling was applied to test the conceptual model and research hypotheses. The results indicate a statistically significant influence of certain predictors on the intention of consumers to rechoose soluble/instant coffee. One exception is perceived behavioral control, where statistical significance exceeds the allowed values, which indicate that the offer of functional soluble/instant espresso solutions should be extended outside high-quality service hotels and spa centers to be available to all consumers with healthy lifestyle habits. Defining the factors that influence instant espresso coffee reselection can help to understand influences on certain consumer behaviors and improve sustainability on the market. Full article
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24 pages, 83263 KiB  
Article
Detection of the Seasonally Activated Rural Areas
by Marija Drobnjaković, Milena Panić, Gorica Stanojević, Dejan Doljak and Vlasta Kokotović Kanazir
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1604; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031604 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2437
Abstract
Rural areas have been usually observed through agriculture; however, today, it is broadened with various activities. In Serbia, it has been characterized by unbalanced development, which has led to a declining vitality and depopulation. The main goal of this research is detection of [...] Read more.
Rural areas have been usually observed through agriculture; however, today, it is broadened with various activities. In Serbia, it has been characterized by unbalanced development, which has led to a declining vitality and depopulation. The main goal of this research is detection of seasonally activated rural areas in Serbia, expressed through the population fluctuation, temporary settlement, or occasional use of residential and economic facilities, and identification of spatial patterns of seasonal use. This research applied an innovative proxy—nighttime lights (NTL)—as a complementary tool to statistical analyses, which are conducted in the GIS environment. The calculation encompassed two seasonality coefficients: one based on the NTL and the second based on statistical data on tourist turnover. The spatial frame applies settlement level and micro level (pixels), while temporal includes monthly values for the period 2015–2019. The obtained results highlight tourist activity as the main cause of seasonal activation of rural areas. The largest seasonal fluctuations were registered in mountain areas and spa resorts. For mountain areas, the highest seasonality is in the winter months (peak—January/February), and lowest is in the summer season. The seasonal character of spa centers indicates the similar trend, generally less pronounced (peak—January), however, with higher seasonality during the summer. Full article
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27 pages, 2954 KiB  
Article
A Case Study on the Danube Limes in Serbia: Valorisation and Cartographic Analyses of Selected Tourism Products
by Jasmina M. Jovanović, Marko Stojanović, Tanja Janković, Siniša Drobnjak, Dejan Djordjević, Radoje Banković, Milan Radovanović, Ljiljana Živković, Tamara Gajić, Dunja Demirović Bajrami, Tatiana N. Tretiakova and Julia A. Syromiatnikova
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1480; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031480 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2411
Abstract
Cultural assets in the area of the Danube Limes in Serbia are an integral part of the world heritage “Roman Empire Borders”. The research presented in this paper includes the tourist and cartographic visualization of 19 Roman sites in the Danube Limes region [...] Read more.
Cultural assets in the area of the Danube Limes in Serbia are an integral part of the world heritage “Roman Empire Borders”. The research presented in this paper includes the tourist and cartographic visualization of 19 Roman sites in the Danube Limes region of Golubac–Radujevac, to determine the real possibilities of tourism development in this area. The historical and cultural heritage of this area is among the most attractive tourist destinations in Serbia, Djerdap National Park and Djerdap Geopark. Despite its diverse cultural and historical values and the specific and unique natural environment, this area is not sufficiently used for tourism. The research included the evaluation of localities, which may serve as the basis to establish which activities should be undertaken in order to plan, use, preserve, and protect such important cultural assets, under the principles of sustainable tourism development. Information based on spatially referenced data in the research process requires cartographic support, in order to understand the geospatial relations of the site significance. Cartographic visualization enabled efficiently systematized data organization, spatial identification, presentation, and the use of complex information from the mapped area in the data analysis in this paper. Full article
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29 pages, 1612 KiB  
Article
Sustainability of Serbian Villages in COVID-19 Pandemic Conditions
by Tamara Lukić, Tatjana Pivac, Milica Solarević, Ivana Blešić, Jelena Živković, Ivana Penjišević, Rajko Golić, Bojana Kalenjuk Pivarski, Milka Bubalo-Živković and Ana Pandžić
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020703 - 9 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2979
Abstract
The subject of this paper is to determine how the COVID-19 virus pandemic affected the situation in Serbian villages. The task of the paper is to show the positive and negative consequences that resulted from the pandemic. This would indicate that some of [...] Read more.
The subject of this paper is to determine how the COVID-19 virus pandemic affected the situation in Serbian villages. The task of the paper is to show the positive and negative consequences that resulted from the pandemic. This would indicate that some of them may represent a new idea, a chance, or would work in favor of the sustainability of the villages of Serbia. In support of objectivity, research was carried out among the population that inhabits the rural areas of Serbia. It examined the extent to which internationally recognized phenomena and consequences of the COVID-19 virus pandemic were present in the study area and considered the nature of their impact on sustainability. The results of the semi-structured questionnaire were processed using descriptive statistics, t-test, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Respondents contributed to the conception of possible solutions with their comments. The obtained differences in the answers resulted from different socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, but also from the fact that the villages of Serbia differ in natural and social characteristics. Respondents’ responses are in favor of economic and sociodemographic sustainability, but they do not think in terms of environmental sustainability. The paper reveals several development opportunities, which complement each other and contribute to different methods for sustainability of rural villages in Serbia. Full article
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25 pages, 1538 KiB  
Article
Experienced Well-Being in the Rural Areas of the Srem Region (Serbia): Perceptions of the Local Community
by Bojan Đerčan, Milka Bubalo Živković, Dragica Gatarić, Tamara Lukić, Aleksandra Dragin, Bojana Kalenjuk Pivarski, Miloš Lutovac, Boris Kuzman, Anton Puškarić, Maja Banjac, Biljana Grubor and Olivera Simović
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010248 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2850
Abstract
The sustainability of rural settlements in Serbia has become the main focus of strategic rural development planning. Although it is still difficult to measure the quality of life of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia, preliminary results show that it is necessary [...] Read more.
The sustainability of rural settlements in Serbia has become the main focus of strategic rural development planning. Although it is still difficult to measure the quality of life of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia, preliminary results show that it is necessary to go beyond the GDP as the only or one of its most important indicators. A multidimensional approach and analysis at the local level is necessary for more comprehensive insight into quality of life in order to avoid erroneous or simplified conclusions. Striving to provide more detailed insight into the attitudes and needs of the local population, this research uses a qualitative approach. Subjective measures of how people feel and function in everyday life can predict future reactions, many of which are in the domain of the interests of local public services. The aim of the research is to apply measurement indicators through six dimensions of well-being in order to determine to what extent the inhabitants of rural communities are satisfied with some indicators and how they assess their own well-being. The research results illustrate the importance of understanding the needs of the local population and the perception of overall life experience in monitoring balanced rural development. The research can be adapted and applied to any rural community. Thus, only by developing a participatory approach can one strive for community-based rural development. Full article
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15 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
Analyses of the Attitudes of Agricultural Holdings on the Development of Agritourism and the Impacts on the Economy, Society and Environment of Serbia
by Miloš Ćirić, Dragan Tešanović, Bojana Kalenjuk Pivarski, Ivana Ćirić, Maja Banjac, Goran Radivojević, Biljana Grubor, Predrag Tošić, Olivera Simović and Stefan Šmugović
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13729; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413729 (registering DOI) - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3201
Abstract
Agritourism as a special type of tourist migration is a very important link in the diversification of rural areas, connecting the geography, culture, tradition, and gastronomy of the local population, and placing products and services through the hospitality and tourism market. Thanks to [...] Read more.
Agritourism as a special type of tourist migration is a very important link in the diversification of rural areas, connecting the geography, culture, tradition, and gastronomy of the local population, and placing products and services through the hospitality and tourism market. Thanks to this form of tourism, underdeveloped places are gaining in importance and attracting the attention of visitors who are oriented towards natural things, which in turn contributes to a better economic situation of the locality and the population. This paper aims to examine the attitudes of farm owners in the Republic of Serbia toward the impact of agritourism on the economy, living environment, social life, and culture. The data were collected by surveying the owners of agricultural holdings in the territory of the Republic of Serbia and statistically processed using factor analysis, descriptive statistics, and linear regression. Based on the obtained results, it has been established that the owners of agricultural farms are interested in the development of agritourism, and that their positive perception of the impact that agritourism has on the living environment and economy greatly contributes to that. To a lesser extent, a positive attitude was noted toward the importance of agrotourism for the local community and locals, where the positive aspects of agritourism were the education of visitors on agriculture, promotion of the local culture, agricultural and gastronomic products, and sustainable development and investment in infrastructure. Full article
21 pages, 3036 KiB  
Article
The Evolution of Rural Tourism in Wuhan: Complexity and Adaptability
by Li Lv, Jing Hu, Xin Xu and Xiaobo Tian
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13534; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413534 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3267
Abstract
The complex adaptation system (CAS) theory of “adaptability to produce complexity” is a new theoretical perspective for the spatio-temporal evolution of rural tourism systems. Based on the CAS theory, the theoretical framework, structural composition, formation process, and evolution mechanism of the rural tourism [...] Read more.
The complex adaptation system (CAS) theory of “adaptability to produce complexity” is a new theoretical perspective for the spatio-temporal evolution of rural tourism systems. Based on the CAS theory, the theoretical framework, structural composition, formation process, and evolution mechanism of the rural tourism complex system were examined and revealed. The suburban country region of Wuhan was taken as the area of focus for empirical research. The state of the rural tourism destination system in Wuhan has gone through various periods of development: the embryonic stage of the system (before 2000), formation (2001–2007), rapid development (2008–2015), and consolidation and transformation (since 2016). Under the environments stimulating external physical geography, social economy, market demand, and emergencies, multiple agents such as government, enterprises, residents, and tourists in Wuhan have actively adapted to the environment and other agents, and the interaction intensity and complexity have gradually increased, driving the emergence of system agent types, functional structures, and spatial patterns. The agents continue to grow, differentiate, and aggregate. The tourism product has shifted from the dominance of a rural ecological scenery and leisure agriculture to diversified development, and with the main function changing from sightseeing to leisure and vacation. The rural communities have been renovated and beautified, transforming them from a provider of rural service facilities to a co-builder of a rural-imaged tourism space. Full article
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18 pages, 2383 KiB  
Article
Tourism Perspectives in National Parks—A Hungarian Case Study from the Aspects of Rural Development
by András Donát Kovács, Péter Gulyás and Jenő Zsolt Farkas
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12002; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112002 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3749
Abstract
Nature-based tourism has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted the tourism sector and triggered contradictory processes, even in protected areas. This phenomenon opens up new opportunities for nature-based tourism from the perspective of rural development. In this [...] Read more.
Nature-based tourism has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted the tourism sector and triggered contradictory processes, even in protected areas. This phenomenon opens up new opportunities for nature-based tourism from the perspective of rural development. In this study, we assess the relations between tourism and nature conservation and examine the characteristics of practical cooperation in three Hungarian national parks. Based on in-depth interviews (n = 76), document review, and analysis of tourism-related data, our research proves that nature-based tourism could play an essential role in rural development, but this is far from being fulfilled. None of the sectors have been able to impact the comprehensive development of the rural areas concerned. We conclude that sectoral partnership is inadequate, and there is no effective policy coordination. There is a lack of multiday tourism programs, and the currently available tourism infrastructure is insufficient. Initiatives such as the national park product trademark exist but are not well managed, so they do not have a meaningful impact. The results point out that cross-sector collaboration must be strengthened after the epidemic to provide a basis for policy coordination and joint planning. Full article
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23 pages, 1858 KiB  
Article
The Role of Rural Tourism in Strengthening the Sustainability of Rural Areas: The Case of Zlakusa Village
by Nevena Ćurčić, Andrijana Mirković Svitlica, Jovana Brankov, Željko Bjeljac, Sanja Pavlović and Bojana Jandžiković
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6747; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13126747 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 6924
Abstract
The strategic planning of rural development is focused on both economic growth and sustainable development. Sustainable rural development is essential for conserving and improving resources, while economic growth contributes to a better standard of living. The aim of the research is to determine, [...] Read more.
The strategic planning of rural development is focused on both economic growth and sustainable development. Sustainable rural development is essential for conserving and improving resources, while economic growth contributes to a better standard of living. The aim of the research is to determine, using the participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methodology on the example of the village of Zlakusa, the economic activities developed in the village, the importance of rural tourism, and the scope of sustainable development taken into account in rural development. The results of the research show that the success of the rural community depends on: diversification of economic activities, which is accompanied by cohesion of the population through association and organization; organized activities aimed at local or republican authorities; activation of human and social capital; and initiating activities involving marginalized groups. Educating the population outside formal education improves the sustainable and economic development of the village and enables rural tourism to become an important part of economic activities and a channel for the commercialization of natural and cultural contents. Full article
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15 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
Perspectives on Sustainable Tourism Development in the Hotel Industry—A Case Study from Southern Europe
by Igor Trišić, Snežana Štetić, Donatella Privitera, Marko D. Petrović, Marija Maksin, Slavoljub Vujović, Zoran Jovanović and Marija Kalinić
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105563 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 7086
Abstract
Sustainable development is in many ways the fundamental basis of tourism. The importance and role of sustainable tourism development in the 21st century is at the center of this paper on eco-certificates and green procurement in the hotel industry, within the field of [...] Read more.
Sustainable development is in many ways the fundamental basis of tourism. The importance and role of sustainable tourism development in the 21st century is at the center of this paper on eco-certificates and green procurement in the hotel industry, within the field of the responsible or green economy. The green hotel economy implies the selection of accommodation in environmentally responsible hotels and other facilities, which are directing their business operations towards green procurement, eco-labeling, and the responsible economy. This paper includes quantitative research of the attitudes of 506 international tourists, who expressed their views on their needs regarding eco-hotels and the green economy in the hotel industry. This research also included the collection of data on green (responsible) businesses by surveying 100 hotels situated in the capitals of southern Europe. Comparing results from hotels with the needs of tourists in terms of the green economy in the hotel industry, significant results were obtained that contribute to sustainable tourism development. Full article
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