ISSN 2284-7995, ISSN Online 2285-3952


Published in Scientific Papers. Series "Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and rural development", Vol. 17 ISSUE 4
Written by Ivanka LULCHEVA, Krasimir ALEKSANDROV

Rural tourism in Bulgaria is a relatively fast growing and newly-established alternative form of tourism. In recent years, there has been a positive tendency towards increase of the interest in practicing this type of tourism, increase of the number of tourists who have visited rural regions and have used its services, as well as towards diversifying the elements of the offered tourism product. A prerequisite for the sustainable development of rural tourism in Bulgaria and, in particular, in the research territory in the Eastern Rhodopes, is the abundant resource available to our country; already existing or newly established rural regions/villages which contain the main elements of rural tourism – natural and ecological conditions; specific culture, art, folklore; attractive traditions (customs, rituals); authentic cuisine; agricultural and other specific activities. Village holiday market is growing at precisely the time when the future of many rural areas is uncertain due to changes in agricultural policy or the increasing attractiveness of urban life. Rural tourism seems to be among the most suitable tools to revive the dying rural regions, such as the villages and municipalities in the Eastern Rhodopes, as well as to provide opportunities for economic and social development of the regions.The aim of this research is to analyze the tourist services offered as well as the consumer demand for rural tourism in the Eastern Rhodopes. The main methods used in the present study are the inquiry method, the method of analysis and synthesis. The survey was conducted during the period 30.10.2016 - 30.04.2017 and it included 16 questions. 190 questionnaires were correctly filled in and returned. Based on the results achieved in this research we have made some conclusions that may be of great use to the parties concerned, who live in the municipalities in the Eastern Rhodopes, to help them develop the territory as a destination for rural tourism, as well as to the owners and managers of rural tourism facilities to offer a more qualitative, comprehensive and competitive tourism product.

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© 2019 To be cited: Scientific Papers. Series “Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development“.

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