An Overview of Agritourism Development in Serbia and European Union Countries

An Overview of Agritourism Development in Serbia and European Union Countries

Marko D. Petrović (Geographical Institute ‘Jovan Cvijic', Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade, Serbia), Gordana Radović (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia) and Aleksandra Terzić (Geographical Institute ‘Jovan Cvijić', Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade, Serbia)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJSEM.2015040101
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Abstract

The paper presents the status and potential development of agritourism in Serbia and in some countries of the European Union. The authors have analyzed the villages where the agritourism is the most developed, providing an overview of the number of registered agritourism units and the number of beds in four tourist clusters (91 municipalities) in Serbia. At the European Union level, the authors represented the LEADER program, which aims to connect rural economy and development activities in rural areas in the EU Member States. The paper also deals with the basic data and characteristics of agritourism development in countries where this type of tourism is highly developed (United Kingdom, France, Benelux states, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Hungary).
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Introduction

In modern research of tourism globally, agritourism is very important and increasing segment of travel industry. Sznajder et al. (2009) suggest that agritourist activities involve the following: farm-stay, educational visits, recreational activities or selling agricultural and home-made products. On the other hand, Stojanović (2007), states that agritourism is part of so-called alternative types of tourism, which appeared in 1980s as a consequence of the so-called ‘green consumption’ trend, as well as a consequence of the awareness of travelling in accordance with the environmental protection.

In their papers on agritourism, Nilsson (2002) and Petrović (2013; 2014) define this type of tourism as a basic segment of rural tourism. According to Nilsson, rural tourism is based on rural environment in general, while agritourism is based exclusively on farms and farmers. Clarke (1996) explains that there are certain spatial differences in agritourism. Namely, if the accommodation is not on the farm, then it is agritourism, while farm-stay means that the agricultural environment and its offer are included in the product (e.g. being involved in agricultural work, riding a tractor, processing products, etc.). The problems in agricultural production have encouraged farmers and the creators of the agricultural policy to search for alternative activities. Agritourism is regarded as one of them (Illbery et al., 1998).

The paper deals with the status of agritourism activity in Serbia and in 13 member countries of the European Union. We analyzed the village settlements in Serbia where the agritourism is mostly developed and provided an overview of the number of registered agritourism units and the number of beds in 91 municipalities in Serbia. At the level of the EU, we represented the LEADER program, which aims to connect rural economy and development activities in rural areas in the EU member states.

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