The purpose of this paper is to explore strategies for expanding tourism in poor rural areas. It draws on an overview of the likely challenges and motivations involved in promoting rural tourism, and on two new case studies from the Czech Republic and Uganda, complemented by insights from other rural tourism initiatives elsewhere. It does not focus on rural tourism at well-established or high-value sites (such as gorilla habitat, famous mountains or reserves), but on bringing tourism into wider rural areas.
Section 2 outlines the importance and likely obstacles of rural tourism, and thus sets out the key challenges on which practical lessons are needed. The paper does not seek to provide a comprehensive review of international experience of rural tourism approaches, but Section 3 briefly provides some key background on different types of approaches, thus providing distinctions and definitions for the discussion. In particular, it outlines the differing context for rural tourism strategies in Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Section 4 reviews initiatives in the Czech Republic to establish Heritage Trails, focusing initially on Southern and Northern Moravia, while Section 5 reviews the development of cultural sites and trails in Ugandan villages in the traditional kingdom of Buganda. The motivations, institutional processes, practical steps, progress and obstacles are identified. The final section returns to the themes of challenges and strategies in order to identify useful lessons for pro-poor tourism strategies more generally.
PPT Working Paper No. 12, 39 pp.