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Kachniewska M., Tourism development as a determinant of quality of life in rural areas


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Innsbruck, Oct 17th, 2016

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Kachniewska M., Tourism development as a determinant of quality of life in rural areas

  1. 1. Tourism development as a determinant of quality of life in rural areas prof. Magdalena Kachniewska Warsaw School of Economics Innsbruck, Oct 17th 2016
  2. 2. rural tourism as panacea for all the problems? • growing unemployment in rural areas • depopulation of rural areas • decline in local governments' and farmers' income • lowering living standards • infrastructure shortcomings It was believed that tourism would allow for the establishment of additional sales channels (food, services) and would attract tourists to less popular regions. 2
  3. 3. rural tourism in Poland in 90s. • relatively spontaneous and uncontrolled tourism development • serious spatial and social consequences • the transformation of settlement networks and the quality of rural building resources • waning rural culture • rising social pathologies The main challenge is the social condition of local communities! 3
  4. 4. stakeholders concept – much more than ecology The ecology-related threats had been introduced to the discussion much earlier than social ones. However, the pace and direction of rural economic development are increasingly dependent upon the quantitative and qualitative parameters of social resources. 4
  5. 5. cost-benefit analysis of rural tourism development • the research 2014-16 (Tourism Dep. Warsaw School of Economics) • to verify a common belief that rural tourism development has had a beneficial effect on the residents of these areas • 515 residents of 36 villages (with a tourism industry at least twenty years old) • 1/2 of all the respondents were people who were not direct economic beneficiaries of tourism development (i.e. farmers or people employed in different types of businesses) • in-depth interviews with the DMO leaders • round table discussions with rural tourism managers and residents 5
  6. 6. 4 fields of observations • economic activation • quality of life • buildings and infrastructure • agriculture 6
  7. 7. Economic activation (P): • depopulated rural areas in Poland were revitalised by tourism • tourism attracts new residents • servicing tourism had notably decreased young peoples’ desire to move to cities (60% of respondents) • employment in sea coast vs mountain areas (longer peak season) • tourism better than farming (73%) – but only in small and medium-sized farms • the scale of tourism flow depends on the level of development of tourism facilities (e.g., small hotels, guesthouses, private rooms, etc.) - 82% • the professional activation of women, who are motivated to remain in rural areas if the attractiveness of life is above average (new cultural facilities, events) and eliminated feeling of isolation 7
  8. 8. Economic activation (N): • high-quality agricultural land is sold off for building development (attractiveness of the landscape) – 65% • notable increase in land prices – 70% • the soil quality and attempts at its preservation for agricultural purposes are disregarded – 68% (irritation!) • female rural residents encounter the same barriers as urban females: overburdening housework; and drastical lack of institutional support (daycare centers, preschools) 8
  9. 9. Quality of life (P 1/2): • more active approach to traditions, cultural heritage, folklore and characteristic rituals of a given region (78%) • tourists introduce new models of leisure, recreation, entertainment and sports, adopted by local residents (62%) • investments in sporting, cultural and recreational facilities (tennis courts, yacht harbours, pedestrian zones, waterfront developments, quays, bowling facilities, summer theatre stages, spas, bathing sites, sports and tourist equipment rentals, etc.) – 78% • numerous services (medical facilities, cosmetic and hairdressing centres etc.) were launched for tourism purposes, but they improved the attractiveness of living in these villages – 85% 9
  10. 10. Quality of life (P 2/2): • improved safety (i.e., police patrols, monitoring, lifeguards at bathing sites, walking and bicycle routes, pedestrian crossings, etc.) – 74% • improved aesthetics of villages (revitalization of green spaces and parks, greater care for cleanness, removal of illegal landfills, construction of playgrounds, purchase of park benches, greater care of green areas and the general appearance of a given locality, including planting of flowers, renovation of public-utility buildings, better road and roadside surface) 10
  11. 11. Quality of life (N): • sport and culture facilities are available only seasonally (32%) – however 67% indicated that such facilities also operate off-season at lower prices • villages overburdened with tourist traffic – 36% • damage caused by visitors: shopping difficulties (insufficient supply in season); overcrowding; dirt and pollution; inappropriate (arrogant, unkind) visitor behavior towards local residents • the risk of cultural and social conflicts and pathology (i.e., theft, mutual battery, alcoholism, etc.) • 26% of the respondents “would not like to have anything to do with tourists” • 32% could not imagine putting tourists up in their own home (they do not exclude the possibility of taking up other forms of tourism-related activity) 11
  12. 12. Buildings and infrastructure (P): • infrastructural investments (e.g., pavements, roadsides, road surface renovation, demarcation and construction of bicycle lanes, marking walking and bicycle routes, construction of sewage systems and connections to residential buildings, delineating parking spaces, etc.) – 76% • significant improvement in the quality and quantity of residential buildings, as well as in the quality of farm buildings (83%) • a “contagion effect” - inhabitants who do not provide tourism services tend to pay more attention to the aesthetics of their houses and surroundings (56%) • restoration and modernization of old residential buildings (55%) • regular inhabitants also benefited from tourism development (proper sanitary and housing conditions) – 64% 12
  13. 13. Buildings and infrastructure (N): • increased building activity and greater than average volumes of residential buildings • growing density of rural settlements (78%) • the expansion of buildings outside the historically traced boundaries of settlements (92%) • new buildings do conflict with the architectonic order and spatial layout of the village – 34% • reduced private space (increasing the number of rooms for rent lowering family members’ standard of living) • 52% of respondents estimated housing resources of the villages to be insufficient in relation to demand • low technical standard of the new buildings - lack of precise standardization of agrotourism lodgings in Poland (65%) 13
  14. 14. Agriculture and natural environment (P) : • double employment: demand created for agricultural products influences the intensity, structure and level of agricultural activity (65%) • decreasing waste surface (45%) • increasing surface covered by forests and farmland (23%) • increased intensity of agriculture 14
  15. 15. Agriculture and natural environment (N) : • the small scale of production and low profitability are the main factors limiting the productivity of private farms in Poland • tourism influences the prices of land and limits the possibilities of extending farming areas (speculation) – 72% • fencing plots with access to lakes and rivers limits possibilities of efficient farming (86%) • farming high season = tourism peak (draining the workforce from agriculture) • new structure of agriculture products (preferred by tourists) - improper soil exploitation 15
  16. 16. Is rural tourism sustainable? • Notions such as ecotourism, agrotourism, tourism in rural areas, and sustainable tourism are often merged into one mental stereotype – which is not right • Sustainable tourism should enable contact with nature and the local community, the interests of which should be attributed higher priority than those of newcomers (minimize social and ecological losses, ensure intensified contact with nature) • rural tourism tends to increasingly resemble mass tourism in its scale and uncontrollable pace of growth 16
  17. 17. 3xP (profit, people, planet) • rational management of natural/social resources supporting tourism requires transforming the spatial structure of tourism by inhibiting and precisely controlling its development • DMOs should undertake action in the domains of zoning, economic planning, vocational training and tourism marketing • rational use of a village’s natural resources, traditions and customs for preserving its individual character is a crucial recommendation • the qualities that make tourism most attractive are also factors determining quality of life in rural areas 17
  18. 18. Thank you for your attention 