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The rural tourism market is forecast to increase steadily at a CAGR of 6.8% between 2023 and 2033

Cortona, Italy

Rural tourism nowadays is becoming popular as people are now becoming aware of unique and exotic cultures. It also supports the necessity of job creation.

Rural Tourism Industry Outlook 2023 to 2033
The global rural tourism market is likely to reach a US$ 102.7 billion in 2023. Between 2023 and 2033, a steady 6.8% CAGR should keep the market acceleration. This would result in a market valuation of US$ 198.3 billion in 2033.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO), rural tourism offers a significant potential in terms of stimulating local economic development. Rural tourism allows visitors to experience unique cultures in isolated regions of the world. It also offers visitors the chance to engage in a diverse array of nature-based activities such as agriculture.

The principles of rural tourism include:

  • Fostering respect for and building awareness of culture and environment
  • Minimizing the negative impact of rapid urbanization
  • Providing financial benefits directly for conservation
  • Providing positive experiences for hosts and visitors
  • Raising sensitivity to the environmental, social, and political climates of host countries
  • Empowering local people

Across the world’s rural regions, the primary occupation tends to be agriculture. Rural tourism facilitates the people living across these regions to earn incomes from non-agricultural activities. The additional income that rural tourism generates can revive local handicrafts and folk art.

The market for rural tourism is especially thriving across the world’s developing economies. In these places, fragmentation of farmland continues to occur as the local population grows. This leads to economic disparity, but rural tourism is a way for the poorer section of people earn a decent income.

In developed economies, rural tourism is more about resting and relaxing than experiencing local cultures. For instance, in the United States, Florida’s Sanford and St. Augustine are popular rural tourism destinations. Vacationers are increasingly visiting these places to escape from the hustle and bustle of their hectic lives in the busy cities.

Future Market Insights (FMI) believes that the years ahead will be fruitful for players in the rural tourism market. However, players would also have to contend with challenges such as:

  • Greenwashing, i.e., the use of ‘environment-friendly’ labels on low impact conservation efforts
  • Exhaustion of environmental capacities across destinations with fragile and sensitive ecologies
  • Lack of authenticity, i.e., hosts having to adjust on the basis of tourists’ preferences
  • Limited economic returns due to a lack of participation from higher income groups
2018 to 2022 Rural Tourism Market Outlook Compared to Demand from 2023 to 2033

According to FMI’s latest insights, the rural tourism market is forecast to increase steadily at a CAGR of 6.8% between 2023 and 2033. The market is seeing innovative strategic collaborations between the direct suppliers in the industry. They are leveraging their individual resources to enhance collective strength.

While the relationship between indirect suppliers is predominantly transactional, their deliveries and services are becoming more dependable. Owing to such factors the market is experiencing a steady rise in the information transactions between direct and indirect suppliers. This is preventing performance and risk management issues and enabling players to strategize on spending.

Rural tourism nowadays is becoming popular as people are now becoming aware of unique and exotic cultures. It also supports the necessity of job creation.

Business opportunities in rural tourism are arising in places with scarce populations. This enhances the experience of tourists in terms of exploring and understanding the places’ natural, ancient, and historical characteristics. It also provides lucrative opportunities to start entrepreneurial businesses, so the locals can increase their income.

In agro-tourism, rural tourism is contributing towards agricultural productivity across the globe. Technological advancements are also facilitating convenient ticket reservations and bookings among consumers. According to FMI, the market registered a slow 4.9% CAGR from 2018 to 2022 and reached a valuation of US$ 96.9 billion in 2022.

Adverse Impact of Urbanization and Industrialization to Spur Rural Tourism Demand

Urbanization has been more of a trend than a need in the recent past and its effects on the environment have been predominantly negative. The emergence of urbanization has raised the standard of living for the people and contributed to the economy, but at the same time, it has contributed to more stress.

Rural areas have been preserved with its scenic beauty and considerably less pollution than urban spaces. This is why the people living in urban cities prefer visiting rural locations for the sake of peace and quiet.

Infrastructure in the form schools, colleges, hospitals, hotels, and malls are taking up most of the space across urban areas. This is causing severe disruption to society and the environment. At the same time, it is sparking the interest of avid travelers to go beyond their routine and explore more sustainable lifestyles and cultures.

Vulnerability of Environment through Scattering Waste and Damage to Scenic Areas Putting Sustainability at Stake

The rural tourism market has various environmental aspects which cover responses toward the economy and society from multiple perspectives. Nowadays, various ecological imbalances are occurring, which are making the rural tourism sector inclined towards sustainable development. However, rural areas rarely have the infrastructure in place to support mass tourism.

Prior to the advent of rural tourism, people in isolated areas were mainly dependent on agriculture. As a result, the waste they generated was limited. However, owing to rising rural tourism, more waste is being generated.

Disposal of waste is increasingly becoming problematic across rural regions as they lack the necessary infrastructure. As a result, waste is either burned or disposed in open fields, none of which is beneficial for the environment.

Rural Tourism Development Booming in Italy

Sustainable Market for Rural Tourism on the Rise in Central Italy through Local Associations and Youth Engagement Programs
Italy’s government has been taking proactive initiatives to promote sustainable tourism practices, especially in the country’s central portion. There are several rural areas in central Italy, which are home to multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

For instance, in San Gimignano, there is the participation of local associations to promote rural tourism. The local municipality promptly participates in the promotion of development and planning of tourism in the region. Besides that, the municipality has also engaged with young residents between the ages of 20 and 30 years for its awareness program.

Regions such as Tuscany, Lazio, Piedmont, and Campania are experiencing burgeoning demand for rural tourism. Other regions in Italy where rural tourism is gaining traction include Abruzzo, Marche, Trentino, and Sicily.

Competitive Landscape

Key players in rural tourism are executing differentiating strategies to capture the market in this highly competitive landscape. The players are formulating on keeping all the aspects of the services and channel support in-house and ensuring that the customers receive value for their spending. Governments across the globe are also actively engaging in efforts to promote rural tourism.

For instance

  • In December 2022, the government of the Indian state of Rajasthan announced the implementation of the Rajasthan Rural Tourism Scheme-2022. The scheme is aimed at promoting tourism across the state’s rural areas.
  • In April 2021, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO) announced a start-up competition titled ‘Global Rural Tourism’. The competition was announced with the intention of facilitating the economic recovery of rural communities from COVID-19’s negative effects.
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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