Rural development and rural tourism: an institutional approach

António Martins Almeida


Purpose: The development of rural and peripheral areas is still a matter of concern in most western countries. Rural tourism has long been understood as an effective catalyst of change in depressed and deprived. Nevertheless, the tourism ledapproach produced mixed results. In this vein, this study is concerned with the analysis of the potentialities, weakness and strengths of the rural hinterland in Madeira, in light of the recent developments in this sector.

Design/methodology approach: The analysis pursued in this paper refers to a case study approach employed to outline the prospects of developing the rural hinterland based on rural tourism ventures. Secondary data was gathered from the Local Statistical Office, but this study derives the main conclusions from the analysis of descriptive content of structured interviews held with rural houses managers.

Findings: The analysis reviews several papers in order to identify the main challenges faced by the local authorities at the county level. As found elsewhere, institutional factors will be decisive in succeed in this regard. The local authorities are well placed to act as a resource provider and coordinators/team leaders.   

Originality/value: This paper provides an analysis of the development path of rural tourism in Madeira and explores how local policy makers may be the “missing link” needed to improve the sector prospects based on tangible and intangible amenities and better entrepreneurial activities. This paper provides unique insights about the development of rural tourism in localities still learning how to best promote alternative market niches.


Keywords: rural tourism; institutional approach; rural development; Madeira Island




Título: "Desenvolvimento rural e turismo rural: uma abordagem institucional"


Objetivos: O desenvolvimento de áreas rurais e periféricas ainda é motivo de preocupação na maioria dos países ocidentais. O turismo rural tem sido entendido como um catalisador eficaz da mudança de pessoas deprimidas e privadas. No entanto, a abordagem liderada pelo turismo produziu resultados mistos. Nesse sentido, este estudo se preocupa com a análise das potencialidades, fraquezas e pontos fortes do interior rural da Madeira, à luz dos recentes desenvolvimentos nesse setor.

Desenho/metodologia/abordagem: A análise realizada neste artigo refere-se a uma abordagem de estudo de caso empregada para delinear as perspectivas de desenvolvimento do interior rural com base em empreendimentos de turismo rural. Os dados secundários foram coletados no Escritório Estatístico Local, mas este estudo deriva das principais conclusões da análise do conteúdo descritivo de entrevistas estruturadas realizadas com gerentes de casas rurais.

Resultados A análise analisa vários documentos, a fim de identificar os principais desafios enfrentados pelas autoridades locais no nível do condado. Como encontrado em outros lugares, fatores institucionais serão decisivos para ter sucesso nesse sentido. As autoridades locais estão bem posicionadas para atuar como provedor de recursos e coordenadores / líderes de equipe.

Originalidade/valor: Este artigo fornece uma análise do caminho de desenvolvimento do turismo rural na Madeira e explora como os formuladores de políticas locais podem ser o “elo perdido” necessário para melhorar as perspectivas do setor com base em amenidades tangíveis e intangíveis e melhores atividades empresariais. Este artigo fornece idéias únicas sobre o desenvolvimento do turismo rural em localidades que ainda aprendem a melhor forma de promover nichos de mercado alternativos.


Palavras-chave: turismo rural; abordagem institucional; desenvolvimento Rural; Ilha da Madeira



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