Rural Tourism Development as a Catalyst of Urban-Rural Synergy in the Region of Southern and Eastern Serbia

Rural Tourism Development as a Catalyst of Urban-Rural Synergy in the Region of Southern and Eastern Serbia

Milica Igić (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Niš, Serbia), Mihailo Mitković (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Niš, Serbia), Petar Mitković (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Niš, Serbia), Milena Dinić-Branković (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Niš, Serbia), Jelena Đekić (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Niš, Serbia), Ivana Bogdanović Protić (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Niš, Serbia) and Milica Ljubenović (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Niš, Serbia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9932-6.ch009

Abstract

Rural areas in Serbia occupy about 3/4 of total country territory and they are home for almost half of total population. These areas are characterized by very heterogeneous environment with not expressed anthropogenic negative influence. Because of a few types of the settlements and very rich rural and natural landscapes, there are great opportunities for development of diverse economies, multifunctional use, and a variety of different activities. This chapter discusses rural tourism development in the Region of the Southern and Eastern Serbia and its impact on the urban-rural synergy. The main goal is to investigate the impact of the tourism development on the connections on the relation urban to rural on the example of this region, and to point out importance of this synergy for future balanced rural and regional development. Rural tourism represents drive for urban-rural synergy and it is one of the key factors of rural development.
Chapter Preview
Top

Background: Rural Areas In Serbia – Definition, Classification And Current Issues

In order to comply with European division of territory according NUTS nomenclature, Serbia was divided into five statistical Regions in 2010. Unfortunately, disparities between different regions are more pronounced, and today the Region of Southern and Eastern Serbia is the least developed. Even there are some EU concepts for better regional development such are system of polycentric development and organization of settlements, decentralization of public services and development of main technical infrastructure, still insufficiently developed spatial planning and unsuccessful implementation process contribute to more pronounced regional disparities (Maksin Mićić et al, 2009).

Rural areas are not strictly defined because of their specific characteristics, these areas differ from urban areas in terms of population density and built settlement area. As main activity in these settlements is land use for agriculture, husbandry and forestry. Traditional structure, heritage and customs are also important marks of these settlements. Most of the countries accepted Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) definition according which rural areas have population density lower than 150 inh/km2 (OECD, 1994). From the economic point of view, rural areas can be defined as areas where economy is oriented towards agriculture and food production, poverty is on a high level and resident’s incomes are lower than in the other areas. From the social point of view, rural areas are characterized by expressed stagnancy in terms of technological and cultural development. If we observe demography, rural areas can be characterized by negative demographic growth, sparsely populated settlements and with very low population density. From spatial point of view, territory with mainly agriculture land and different land use than urban represents rural (Milić, 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Balanced Regional Development: Equal development of all regions within one country through decentralization of economy and better spatial and functional distribution and social cohesion of all residents.

Negative Depopulation Trend: Demographic occurrence where there is constant decrease in population number caused by negative birth rate, high percentage of mortality or due to expressed migrations on relation rural to urban settlements.

Rural Tourism: Tourism which is oriented towards promoting rural tradition and rural areas where accommodation is in traditional spirit, where local food is served and all the services are based on local resources.

Ethno Village: Small scaled village with traditional architecture that consists of accommodation in cottages, small restaurant where local food is served, small farm with domestic animals, shops where local products are sold, and other objects that represent local traditional ambient.

Rural Areas: Underdeveloped areas where main activities are related to the land use for the purposes of agriculture and husbandry and with underdeveloped economy, depopulation trend and low population density.

Region of Southern and Eastern Serbia: Least developed administrative region in Serbia characterized by large depopulation process and unfavorable age structure.

Urban-Rural Synergy: Mutual connection of urban and rural area in terms of distribution of urban functions and economy, creating spatial connections and improvement of social cohesion of population.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset