Problems of Marketing Rural Tourism in Serbia

Problems of Marketing Rural Tourism in Serbia

Zoran Simonovic (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Serbia) and Nikola V. Ćurčić (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Serbia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9837-4.ch015
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Rural tourism can have some benefits from the use of marketing theory. Marketing is increasingly used on the one hand to help in the planning and promotion of traditional tourist centers, and on the other hand lacks expertise in its application in rural areas. Certain municipal tourist organizations tried to eliminate this situation in their areas, but in all likelihood there is insufficient evidence that they have produced anything more than poor marketing proposals. Authors want to emphasize that individuals in some areas have done a lot in developing the application of marketing in rural tourism. On the basis of all this, authors can point out that in this area much more can be done.
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At the very beginning, we want to emphasize that tourism is an economic activity that, through individual and integrated (integrated) products, connects numerous small enterprises of the rural area. Namely, tourism acts as a showroom for the supply of agricultural and other products and services. Through tourism, quality products and services of various activities are presented and presented (e.g. catering, rural, food processing, entrepreneurial, cultural-artistic, sports-recreational offer). Examples of good practices show that adequately connected and promoted tourism products of rural areas contribute to the successful business of entrepreneurs and small bidders, the international recognition of products, services and places as well as the ultimate and improved life, demography and cohesion of the rural area. (Brezovec, 2015, p. 6).

Rural development is part of the concept of a new development philosophy of the EU. The future of the agricultural sector is closely linked to the balanced development of rural areas. About 57% of the EU population lives in rural areas, which cover over 90% of the territory of the Union. The average population density is from 38 inhabitants / km2 in predominantly rural regions, to 125 in strongly rural regions and 614 in predominantly urban regions. (Đorđević-Milošević & Milovanović, 2013).

In this sense, the rural tourism market, with time and supply, is the most developed and most active in Europe. According to the data of EUROGITES, the European Federation of Rural Tourism, the current state of rural tourism is as follows:

  • 200,000 agro tourism households / households with a capacity of up to 1.2 million beds.

  • 20% of the offer is made up of households / households that provide eating services to traditional / traditional specialties, while 80% of the offer consists of rural holiday homes.

  • Daily consumption per guest is 45-80 Euro.

  • 1/3 of spending refers to accommodation, the rest is spent on other services in the household / household and surroundings (additional services).

  • Multiplier effect: 1-euro tourism consumption creates 2.2 euros for local rural economy.

  • The equivalent of 4 beds creates one workplace.

  • Indirectly / directly rural tourism maintains three million jobs.

  • Agro tourism estimates at the annual level / level globally at 12 billion euros a year - France itself from rural tourism earns two billion euros a year.

Access the tourist offer organization: Tirol, Tuscany, Provence, Andalusia, etc. (

The document of the Tourism Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia under the concept of rural tourism states that “rural tourism implies and includes a range of activities, services and additional content organized by the rural population on family farms in order to attract tourists and generate additional income, respecting the principles of sustainable development and conservation of natural resources. (Tourism Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia, 2005, p. 69/ Стратегија развоја туризма Републике Србије, 2005, п. 69).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Serbia: Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a sovereign state located at the intersection of the roads of central and southeastern Europe in the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the center of the Balkan Peninsula. The Balkan Peninsula, and the smaller Pannonian Plain, is largely involved. Serbia borders on the north to Hungary, in the northeast with Romania, in the east with Bulgaria, in the south with northern Macedonia, in the southwest with Albania and Montenegro, and in the west with Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (entity Republika Srpska). Serbia without Kosovo and Metohija has about 7 million inhabitants, while Kosmet has about 8.8 million inhabitants. The capital is Belgrade, which is one of the oldest and largest cities in South East Europe. With 1,659,440 inhabitants in the wider area, according to the 2011 census, it is the administrative and economic center of the country. The official language is Serbian, and the official currency is the Serbian dinar.

Agricultural Households: Family agricultural households can be: 1) commercial family farm. 2) non-commercial family farm. A commercial family farm is an agricultural holding that is market-oriented and which, under the conditions set forth in this law, can exercise the right to incentives. A non-commercial family farm is an agricultural holding that is not market-oriented. The property of a non-commercial family farm is determined upon registration or renewal of registration in the Register.

Tourist Organization: The tourist agency is an economic agent for travel and tourism, which carries out mediation, coordination and organization in the tourism market. A tourist agency can be defined as a commercial company whose basic activity consists in organizing and concluding transport contracts, contracts related to the stay of tourists in some area, and providing other services to its clients and participants in the tourist traffic.

Small and Medium Enterprises: In economic theory, but also in economic practice, the division of enterprises into small, medium and large companies is common. But different countries have their own image of enterprise size, so it is difficult to get a universal definition. Therefore, the quantitative criteria on the basis of which small, medium and large enterprises are classified are: invested capital, sum of the balance sheet after deduction of loss, annual sales revenue and annual average of employees as the most reliable criterion. In most European countries, companies are divided according to the conditions listed in the table, but in some countries it is not easy to separate small and medium-sized enterprises because they are statistically linked together. The basic characteristics of small businesses are that they are much more flexible due to their size, allowing them to adapt to changes in the environment more quickly, and they also provide greater innovation and application of new knowledge. Unlike large companies, communication is less and greater elasticity of connections. But they are also characterized by a higher level of instability compared to large enterprises. The reason for this is poor incentive measures and inadequate financing, which quickly disappear from the market.

Rural Marketing: Marketing is traditionally a set of activities that are used to streamline product and service flows from the producer to the consumer (user, customer, customer). Marketing can be presented through a four-step process, which starts with the analysis and definition of the “universe” of potential users or customers. After the first phase of the marketing process, the attention process is followed by Attention, Awareness of users who are ready to buy from the “universe” of the target population. In the third phase, systemic influences on potential users to be interested and accepted (desire - existing concepts or offers, created on the basis of marketing activities of the organization. Finally, the success of the previous three phases should lead to the transition of potential customers into “real” customers through activities that are conducted in order for potential users to do the desired action - buying, calling, downloading documents, subscription, membership, sale, etc.

Tourism: Rural tourism is a type of tourism that takes place in rural areas. However, this definition is in many cases incomplete and it is generally difficult to define a more specific definition that could apply to all rural areas. Rural tourism includes staying in the economy and special forms of activities such as vacation in nature, ecotourism, adventure, sports. and health and cult. tourism, walking, climbing, riding, hunting, fishing, education etc.

Tourism Identity: The identity of a tourist area is a very important factor in the tourism of a country and is a set of characteristics by which some space can be identified. Different characteristics of a particular geographical area influence the decisions of tourists on the journey and visits to that area or destination. Each country should invest individually in the construction of the identity of a particular area which as an attractive factor for visitors and / or tourists can with its characteristics positively and negatively influence the arrival of tourists, and consequently the development of the whole country.

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