Rural tourism in the United States is growing. According to Hill (1993), the recent surge in rural tourism has come about through increased automobile and weekend travel, economic hardship, a mature travel market, and changing tastes and preferences. Urbanization also has played a role in the development of rural tourism (Conlin and Baum 1995). The more entrenched urbanites become, the more likely they are to reach out and visit rural settings. Willits, Bealer, and Timbers (1990) suggested that this behavior might be due in part to a phenomenon termed the 'rural mystique.' Images of farms, small towns with old-fashioned customs and traditional values, open spaces, and wilderness settings are evoked by the term rural. Individuals imagine rural areas to be 'the repository of all that is stable, immemorial, harmonious, pleasant, and reassuring in the modern world' (Saunders et al. 1978, p. 63). Research on individuals' perceptions of rural areas, however, has been conducted solely with North Americans and has not given much attention to tourists, specifically international tourists, and their interest in rural areas as tourism destinations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management