Rural Tourism: An Annotated Bibliography


Dennis M. Brown
Regional Economist

Economic Research Service
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This annotated bibliography summarizes studies on rural tourism. Primary emphasis is on studies dealing with the United States, but some international studies are also included. Topics covered include tourism planning and development, tourism marketing, tourism and rural development, tourism and sustainable development, economic and other effects of tourism, heritage tourism, nature-based tourism/ecotourism, and agritourism.

Keywords: Rural tourism, heritage tourism, ecotourism, agritourism.

Table of Contents


This bibliography summarizes studies dealing with tourism in rural America. Material is drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines, including economics, planning, geography, and history. Emphasis is given to those studies conducted since the early 1990's.

A number of studies highlight the important role that tourism can play in rural development, with some authors describing the potential benefits in purely economic terms --- for example, by citing the impact of tourism on jobs created, income added, or local tax revenues. In contrast, other studies stress the positive effects that tourism can bring to quality of life issues, including a greater "sense of place" for rural residents, an upgrading of local cultural facilities, or an enhancement of regional conservation efforts. Frequent mention is made of different strategies employed in rural tourism, including heritage tourism, nature-based tourism/ecotourism, and agritourism.

Other studies caution that effective rural tourism requires careful planning and development and typically employs well thought-out marketing approaches. Even well-designed tourism strategies can have potential negative side-effects, including higher taxes for local residents, escalating real estate prices, increased sprawl, and a degradation of local natural resources. Frequently, effective rural tourism requires regional or State-level coordination since many rural areas, especially those that are more isolated or more sparsely populated, lack the resources required to establish a successful tourism program.

Rural Tourism

An Annotated Bibliography

Dennis M. Brown


Rural America is a popular tourist destination. According to a recent study, nearly two-thirds of all adults in the Nation, or 87 million individuals, have taken a trip to a rural destination within the past three years (Travel Industry Association of America, 2001a). Almost nine out of ten of these trips were for leisure purposes. Overall, the travel industry is big business in America. Travel expenditures within the U.S. totaled nearly $564 billion in 2000, making the travel and tourism industry the third largest in the Nation (after health services and business services), and accounting for total direct employment of over 7.8 million (Travel Industry Association of America, 2001b).

Tourism has many potential benefits for rural areas (Frederick, 1992). Tourism can be an important source of jobs for nonmetro communities, especially for those that are economically underdeveloped. Because jobs in the tourist industry often do not require advanced training, local residents with few skills can readily work as food servers, retail clerks, and hospitality workers. Tourism also not only offers business opportunities to local residents, but it can serve as a vehicle for marketing a place to potential residents and firms, as today's tourist may return later to retire or start a business locally.

Tourism can also enhance local quality of life. For example, tourism can serve as an important source of tax revenues for local jurisdictions. Some rural areas may be more willing to levy higher taxes on tourists because they are transitory, and, hence, may be perceived by local authorities as being more captive to user fees and other forms of taxation. This can lead to higher quality public services and lower local tax rates. Tourism can also support local culture in rural areas by encouraging restoration of local and regional historic sites. And tourism, which is generally considered to be a relatively clean industry, may foster local conservation efforts.

Benefits deriving from tourism development must be balanced against potential negative effects. Jobs in the travel and tourism industry are frequently low-paying and seasonal and often offer limited benefits. In some cases, particularly where tourism strategies are ineffectual, local residents may have to pay for tourism marketing and infrastructure through higher taxes. Tourism can also increase demand for land in rural areas, which may inflate real estate prices, potentially putting the cost of housing beyond the reach of the average local resident. This is the case for some amenity-rich tourism destinations (particularly in the West) experiencing growth in recent years stemming from recreation-based activities (Brown and Fazzone, 1998). Tourism may directly lead to unsightly sprawl in rural areas by creating a demand for development. Other negative side effects include potentially higher rates of crime and greater demand for local services, such as police and fire protection and sanitation services, which can be expensive to provide. Also, tourism can risk changing the rural "sense of place" for some communities. Increased crowding and traffic congestion may also result with an influx of tourists into an area. Greater demand for local arts and crafts can also potentially lead to a lowering of the quality of these products. Finally, tourism risks degrading natural resources in rural areas unless environmental sustainability efforts are undertaken. Many of these risks, however, can be mitigated if proper planning is employed at the outset of tourism development.

This report covers a wide range of studies dealing with different aspects of tourism. The citations are not intended to be exhaustive but rather to provide a sampling of different emphases in the literature. Two major types of studies are covered in the review. First, studies describing general concepts of rural tourism are reviewed. These include studies dealing with: the planning and/or development of tourism; the marketing of tourism; tourism and rural development; sustainable tourism development; and economic and other effects of tourism. Second, major tourism strategies are covered, with special attention on: heritage tourism, ecotourism, and agritourism. Other miscellaneous studies, including those dealing with multiple topics, are also listed.

Most studies reviewed in this report deal exclusively with rural areas, although some urban citations have been included when the issues involved had relevance to nonmetro America. The focus is community-based tourism development, with an emphasis on how local communities can more effectively develop a viable tourism strategy. Also, while the studies were mainly conducted since the early 1990's, some citations from the 1980's have also been included.

In recent years, rural tourism has gone through significant changes. What was once an activity primarily focused on usage of national parks has evolved into an area of interest now deemed to have considerable potential for rural development. One aspect of this change in status is the vocabulary used to describe various types of rural tourism activities. For example, some studies refer to outdoor-based tourism as "ecotourism," while other publications use the term "nature-based tourism." Although these two terms are not technically synonymous - the term "ecotourism" suggests activities that promote conservation of nature, while "nature-based tourism" is evocative of a broader spectrum of outdoor-based recreation, including hunting, fishing, camping, and the use of recreational vehicles - they reflect a change in perspective in the tourism industry. For the purposes of this publication, however, both terms are used interchangeably.

The remainder of this report is divided into two sections. First is a discussion of the main issues related to rural tourism and tourism strategies, with relevant research cited. Second is the annotated bibliography, organized by topic. All references cited in the discussion section can be found in the area of the annotated bibliography addressing the topic described.

Research on Rural Tourism

Comprehensive planning and development represents one of the key components of most successful rural tourism strategies. Long and Nuckolls (1994) underscore the need for effective planning, and stress that technical assistance can prove crucial to tourism development success for many small communities with limited resources. Weaver (1991) argues that many nonmetro communities would also benefit from an expanded Federal role in rural tourism, as well as greater State involvement. Marcouiller (1997) stresses that tourism planning need not occur in a vacuum, but may be of more use to a rural community when the planning is tied to broader regional development efforts.

Marketing of tourism poses special challenges for many rural areas. Frequently, rural communities lack the name recognition associated with more populated areas. Different strategies can be pursued to achieve greater name recognition among potential visitors. Commonly, this involves targeting potential visitors to an area. For example, Henning (1996) demonstrates that survey methods in a rural Louisiana community have been effective in targeting the area to seniors, who are among the most frequent visitors. Often regional marketing makes the most sense given the limited resources available to many rural areas (Shields and Schibik, 1995). However, Sadowske and Alexander (1992) caution that prior to implementing an expensive marketing strategy, communities should be aware of other costs associated with tourism development. They also argue that the key to success in tourism often lies in communities striking a balance between the private and social costs and benefits of rural tourism development.

Tourism can be an important force for developing disadvantaged rural areas. In particular, rural communities with few other options for development may perceive that tourism represents a panacea for growth. While tourism can certainly be an important component of a sound development plan, this is not always the case. For example, Bontron and Lasnier (1997) note that the local tourism impact varies greatly among rural regions and depends on a host of factors including work force characteristics and seasonality issues. Local support, however, is usually a necessary component for a successful tourism strategy, as noted by Bourke and Luloff (1995), and echoed by Brass (1996), Burr (1995), and Woods (1992). That is why tourism strategies must be consistent with local goals and be sensitive to sustaining a community's character and traditions.

Developing tourism that works in concert with nature is a goal of sustainable development, which generally refers to development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Rátz and Puczkó, 1998). Culbertson, Turner, and Kolberg (1993) note that sustainability both contributes to human well-being and is in harmony with the natural environment. Stabler (1997) provides a thorough treatment of sustainable tourism development in terms of economic, ethical and environmental perspectives from the standpoint of a variety of academic disciplines, including geography, sociology, economics, management, marketing, and planning.

Measuring the economic effects of tourism is a popular topic in the literature. Chang (2000) provides an excellent summary of a broad range of economic impact studies utilizing a variety of estimation techniques, including input-output analysis, economic base theory, econometric techniques, hybrid models, and non-survey methods. Stynes (2000) notes that most impact analyses are concerned with measuring changes in local sales, income, and regional employment resulting from tourism activity, although specific economic effects are difficult to generalize since they depend on a variety of local factors. Goldman and Nakazawa (1994) provide a nine-step process for determining income multipliers to estimate local economic impacts resulting from tourism, while Johnson and Thomas (1990) offer a framework for estimating local employment effects of a museum in England.

Weaver (1986) notes that tourism can not only result in enhanced employment opportunities, increased income potential for local residents, diversification of the local economic base, and additional tax revenues for rural areas, but it can also raise community visibility, and add cultural opportunities for residents. These non-economic benefits are also discussed by Jurowski (1996), who argues that tourism, if well planned, can enhance local environmental resources.

Some have cautioned that while tourism has been a high-growth industry in recent years, it often produces low-paying, part-time, and seasonal jobs (Bontron and Lasnier, 1997). However, others point out that such part-time positions offer important opportunities for those rural residents lacking higher education and advanced training since these individuals would generally not qualify for higher-paying, professional positions (Frederick, 1992). Moreover, in many places people may already have part-time or seasonal jobs and tourism can help supplement these workers' salaries. For example, many farm laborers and some farmers only work during part of the year and can use another job at a different time of the year to make more money. Part-time tourism jobs may also provide needed income to a parent who needs time off to care for family members. High school-age children may also prefer such jobs since their schedules would not accommodate full-time positions. Hence, part-time and seasonal jobs may make the most sense for important segments of the rural population.

Tourism can offer rural residents business opportunities in activities that cater to the tourist trade. Such locally-operated businesses, which may be seasonal, can provide local residents with valuable opportunities to develop business skills and can give local crafters, farmers, and food processors, among others, outlets to sell their products to local retail establishments. Farmers growing fresh produce can take advantage of tourism to establish direct marketing channels for ready-to-eat products, which may also serve as outlets for processed foods such as jams, jellies, breads, and preserves.

Rural Tourism Strategies

This review focuses on several different types of tourism strategies, including: heritage tourism (sometimes referred to as cultural heritage tourism), nature-based tourism/ecotourism, agritourism, as well as partnership-based approaches, such as scenic byways and heritage areas.

Heritage tourism refers to leisure travel that has as its primary purpose the experiencing of places and activities that represent the past. A principal concern of heritage tourism is historical authenticity and long-term sustainability of the attraction visited. Active local involvement is also typically a key component of successful heritage tourism endeavors. Baldwin's (1994) study of a local heritage festival in northeastern Tennessee represents a good example of a successful heritage tourism program that fostered community involvement in an economically underdeveloped rural community. A different heritage tourism focus is provided by DeLyser's (1995) article on ghost towns, which emphasizes that such towns in the West may have rich histories that can be attractive to potential tourists.

A second major type of rural tourism activity is nature-based tourism/ecotourism (sometimes called recreation-based tourism), which refers to the process of visiting natural areas for the purpose of enjoying the scenery, including plant and animal wildlife. Nature-based tourism may be either passive, in which observers tend to be strictly observers of nature, or active (increasingly popular in recent years), where participants take part in outdoor recreation or adventure travel activities. McDaniel's (2001) article of southwestern Virginia, which highlights the tourism potential of the region's scenic and abundant recreational activities, is a representative example. Guglielmino (1998) cautions that although ecotourism represents a viable economic development strategy for rural areas with natural resources, even successful ventures require patience for local communities. Also, as noted by King and Stewart (1996), undertaking ecotourism, unless managed carefully, can sometimes pit people against local natural resources. This suggests a strong need for pursuing sustainable development in ecotourism activities, as suggested by Lash (1998), who argues that the needs of the local community, visitors, and the environment can best be met through a synergistic approach between development and the environment that will not degrade the resource base.

A third major form of tourism is agritourism, which refers to, "the act of visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operation for the purpose of enjoyment, education, or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation" (Lobo, 2001). It includes taking part in a broad range of farm-based activities, including farmers' markets, "petting" farms, roadside stands, and "pick-your-own" operations; engaging in overnight farm or ranch stays and other farm visits; and visiting agriculture-related festivals, museums, and other such attractions. (See Dane (2001b) for a discussion of agritourism, including a listing of some examples of this type of tourism.) Hilchey's (1993a) publication provides a detailed discussion of various farm-based tourism enterprises available to farmers in New York State. He notes that long-term trends in consumer demand for tourism and recreation suggest that agritourism enterprises can help provide an important niche market for farmers throughout the Nation. Hilchey (1993b) also notes that three factors are often the key to successful agritourism activities: social skills of farm-based entrepreneurs, farm aesthetics, and proximity of farms to urban centers.

Annotated Bibliography

Specific citations dealing with different aspects of the literature will now be discussed.

Tourism Planning and Development

Burns, Peter, and Andrew Holden. 1995. Tourism: A New Perspective. London: Prentice Hall.

This book provides a wide-ranging treatment of subjects of interest to local community leaders in tourism development-related issues. The authors discuss tourism planning activities at the local level, and they place tourism in a wider, global context.

Burr, Steven W. 1997. "A Conceptual Model for Facilitating Rural Tourism Development," Proceedings of the 1996 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, March 31-April 2, 1996, Lake George in Bolton Landing, NY. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station Report, General technical report NE; 232, pp. 15-18.

This paper examines why some rural communities are able to make substantial progress in their tourism development efforts, while others experience problems due to a variety of constraints. The research is based on in-depth case studies conducted in four rural Pennsylvania counties. A conceptual model for understanding and facilitating rural tourism development is presented.

Gibson, Lay James. 1993. "The Potential for Tourism Development in Nonmetropolitan Areas," pp. 145-164, in David L. Barkley, ed., Economic Adaptation. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

This chapter provides a good overview of the role that tourism can play in developing rural areas. Advantages and disadvantages of tourism development are discussed, and the author stresses the importance of planning. A case study of the White Mountains, in Arizona, is provided.

Jepson, Edward J., Jr., and David W. Marcouiller. 1994. Ethnic Variation in Leisure and Recreational Interests. Chicago: Council of Planning Librarians. CPL Bibliography No. 311.

This annotated bibliography focuses on variations in leisure and recreation behavior and tourism preferences among different ethnic groups. The material may be of interest to tourism development planners.

Koth, Barbara, Glenn Kreag, and Matthew Robinson, comps. 1993. Q and A about Rural Tourism Development: Based on Questions from the Turn it Around with Tourism Teleconference. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Extension Service, University of Minnesota. Web Site:

This guide covers a variety of issues related to rural tourism, including community involvement, planning, services, funding, marketing, and the politics surrounding rural development. It includes a contact list of tourism specialists.

Koth, Barbara, Glenn Kreag, and John Sem. 1995. A Training Guide for Rural Tourism Development. St. Paul, Minnesota: Rural Tourism Center, Minnesota Extension Service.

This publication is a training tool and reference guide designed to offer local communities information and techniques on rural tourism development. The material is targeted to tourism practitioners and is supplemented with training videos.

Long, Patrick T., and Jonelle S. Nuckolls. 1994. "Organizing Resources for Rural Tourism Development: The Importance of Leadership, Planning and Technical Assistance," Tourism Recreation Research, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 19-34.

This article provides a detailed analysis of the role of leadership, planning, and technical assistance in tourism development. The discussion is illustrated through several case studies. An extensive list of bibliographic citations is provided.

Marcouiller, David W. 1995. Tourism Planning. Chicago: Council of Planning Librarians. CPL Bibliography No. 316.

The focus of this annotated bibliography is strategic planning for tourism development. It is primarily designed for professional tourism planners.

Marcouiller, David W. 1997. "Toward Integrative Tourism Planning in Rural America," Journal of Planning Literature, Vol. 11, No. 3: pp. 337-357.

The discussion provides an in-depth examination of the tourism planning literature, with an emphasis on how planning can be integrated into broader regional development efforts. Informative graphics that aid in assessing the planning process are included, and an extensive list of references is also provided.

Tourism Innovations: Development, Policy, and Markets. 1998. Proceedings of the National Extension Tourism Conference, May 17-19, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Holiday Inn, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Web Site:

This publication summarizes proceedings of the National Extension Tourism Conference, which was held in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1998. The conference was designed to bring together people with tourism-related interests to explore tourism, travel, and outdoor recreation policy, development, and marketing

U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Travel and Tourism Administration. 1991. Tourism USA: Guidelines for Tourism Development. 3rd ed. University of Missouri, Dept. of Recreation and Park Administration, University Extension.

This workbook is designed for local communities to assist them in assessing their tourism potential as a component of their economic development plan. The workbook is organized to enable communities to follow a general planning process, depending upon the stage of development of the community.

Weaver, Glenn. 1991. "TTRA Annual Conference Focuses on Rural Tourism Development Issues," Rural Development News, Vol. 15, No. 1: pp. 8-9.

This paper, originally presented at the 1990 national meeting of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), examines various rural tourism development and planning issues. The author argues for an expanded Federal role in rural tourism, coupled with greater State involvement.

Wilkerson, Mary L. 1996. "Developing a Rural Tourism Plan: The Major Publications," Economic Development Review, Vol. 14, No. 2: p. 79.

This article discusses the role of tourism as an economic development strategy for rural communities. The author reviews four documents designed to assist in the planning process for rural tourism. The discussion is aimed at tourism practitioners and local community officials involved in economic development efforts.

Willits, Fern K. 1993. "The Rural Mystique and Tourism Development: Data from Pennsylvania," Journal of the Community Development Society, Vol. 24, No. 2: pp. 159-174.

Possible implications of images of rurality for tourism development strategies are discussed. The extent to which positive images of rural America are held by the general population was assessed using data from a statewide Pennsylvania sample. The study finds widespread acceptance of the mystique of rurality, with rural residents, older citizens, and those with lower incomes and education somewhat more likely to hold these views.

Woods, Mike. 2000. "Diversifying the Rural Economy: Tourism Development." The Rural South: Preparing for the Challenges of the 21st Century, No. 10: pp. 1-10. Jackson, Mississippi. Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University. Web Site:

This paper examines tourism development in the context of the rural South. Topics include opportunities and challenges related to tourism, pros and cons of tourism development, types of rural tourism, and public policy and technical assistance programs. It provides a good overview for rural areas and small communities considering tourism as a development option.

Tourism Marketing

Fesenmaier, Daniel R., Joseph T. O'Leary, and Muzaffer Uysal, eds. 1996. Recent Advances in Tourism Marketing Research. New York: Hawthorne Press.

This book examines the marketing of tourism activities from a global perspective. It may be of interest to communities with established tourism programs as well as those just developing such activities.

Henning, Steven A. 1996. "Developing a Rural Tourism Marketing Strategy Based on Visitor Profiles," Louisiana Agriculture, Vol. 39, No. 1: pp. 8-9.

This article demonstrates the development and implementation of a tourism marketing strategy by a rural community in Louisiana. The discussion focuses on the implementation of a low-cost method for collecting demographic information of visitors to Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The survey finds that seniors are among the most frequent visitors to the local community and advocates targeted marketing to encourage further visits by this group.

Jacob, Steve, and A. E. Luloff. 1993. The Influence of Rural Experience on Urbanites' Definition of Rurality. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. General Technical Report.

This article describes a cognitive mapping experiment tested on urban residents in Pennsylvania. The results show that study participants used different thought processes to identify distinctive rural areas in every region of the State. The study may have implications for targeting tourism marketing efforts to rural areas of the State.

Jones, Michael. 1990. "Rural Tourism: Special Marketing for a Special Place," Rural Development News, Vol. 14, No. 4: pp. 4-5.

This article discusses various tourism marketing strategies used in Jackson County, Iowa. The author identifies a five-step approach to marketing, comprised of elements such as developing a slogan, establishing an image, cooperating regionally, exploring opportunities for historic preservation, and marketing quality of life factors. The discussion may have applications to other small rural communities wishing to develop tourism activities.

Kotler, Philip, John Bowen, and James Makens. 1998. Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

This book is an introductory text for students of hospitality and tourism. It includes a wide variety of material dealing with the many different aspects of hospitality and tourism marketing. Topics covered include meeting human needs and building customer satisfaction, strategic planning, the company's microenvironment, research and information systems, consumer buying behavior, managing capacity and demand, distribution channels, and promoting products.

Sadowske, Sue, and Phil Alexander. 1992. "Strategic Initiatives in Tourism and Travel Established for Cooperative Extension," Rural Development News, Vol. 16, No. 5: p. 7.

This article explores the role played by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service in rural travel and tourism development. The authors argue that the key for success lies in striking a balance between the private and social costs and benefits of rural tourism development. The article also discusses specific actions that extension agents can take to promote local tourism efforts.

Shields, Peggy O., and Timothy J. Schibik. 1995. "Regional Tourism Marketing: An Analogical Approach to Organizational Framework Development," Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, Vol. 4, No. 1: pp. 105-113.

The authors provide a model for organizing regional tourism planning efforts that rely on the use of regional networks. A discussion of various marketing-related problems and a guide to enacting this approach are included.

U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Travel and Tourism Administration. 1993. Rural Tourism Handbook: Selected Case Studies and Development Guide. Washington, DC.

This book looks at different aspects of rural tourism and development through a case study approach. Specific topics highlighted include: assessing the benefits and challenges of tourism development, leadership issues, organizational concepts, and the marketing of rural tourism.

Tourism and Rural Development

Albright, K. B. 1991. Enhancing Kansas Communities. Manhattan, Kansas: Cooperative Extension Service, Kansas State University. Report No. 839. Web Site:

This brochure looks at the role tourism can play in bringing about rural economic development. The focus of the discussion is rural Kansas, but it has applications to many rural communities. Checklists and discussion points are provided to assist communities in generating local tourism activities.

Bontron, Jean-Claude, and Nadine Lasnier. 1997. "Tourism: A Potential Source of Rural Employment," in Rural Employment: An International Perspective, Ray D. Bollman and John M. Bryden, eds. New York: CAB International, pp. 427-446.

This chapter looks at the employment potential of the tourism industry in rural areas. The authors highlight the significant contribution that tourism makes to rural employment, although they note that the impact varies greatly among rural regions. They also show that tourism in rural areas employs relatively more females than urban tourism, since tourism tends to be more seasonal and part-time. Also, due to seasonality factors, rural tourism generates fewer jobs than urban tourism.

Bourke, Lisa, A. E. Luloff. 1995. "Leaders' Perspectives on Rural Tourism: Case Studies in Pennsylvania," Journal of the Community Development Society, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 224-39.

The authors examine, through case studies, local attitudes about tourism development efforts. Among the issues highlighted are the economic benefits and social impacts of tourism, participation by local residents in the tourism industry, and the threats to rurality posed by tourist activities. Findings suggest that local support is essential to successful tourism development. The impacts and community change anticipated from tourism development were also found to potentially threaten the rural sense of place and the success of projects in the four study counties.

Brass, Jane L., ed. 1996. Community Tourism Assessment Handbook. Corvallis, Oregon: Western Rural Development Center, Oregon State University. Web Site: 7.10 MB (.pdf)

This handbook presents a comprehensive treatment of many different aspects of the tourism industry. Emphasis is on understanding the role that tourism can play in local development efforts. Involvement of local residents is stressed as key.

Bruce, David, and Margaret Whitla, eds. 1993. Tourism Strategies for Rural Development. Sackville, New Brunswick: Rural and Small Town Programme.

This book is comprised of a collection of papers from the Innovative Rural Communities conference held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, June 23-26, 1991. The papers examine a variety of rural tourism strategies primarily from an international perspective, including examples from Australia, Great Britain, and Canada. Specific topics include community size (or 'critical mass') as a determinant of tourism success, the role of tourism in community revitalization, job creation as a result of rural tourism initiatives, and marketing strategies.

Burr, Steven W. 1995. "The Rural Action Class's Perceptions of Tourism and its Potential for Economic Development: Case Studies from Four Rural Pennsylvania Counties," General Technical Report, Report No. INT-323: pp. 82-89.

This report looks at local residents' attitudes to tourism development in the context of four rural counties in Pennsylvania. The author stresses that local support for tourism development is important if projects are to succeed.

Butler, Richard W., C. Michael Hall, and John Jenkins, eds. 1998. Tourism and Recreation in Rural Areas. Chichester, U.K.: John Wiley.

This book examines, primarily from an international perspective, the opportunities and challenges associated with development and management of rural tourism. Topics covered include the economics of rural restructuring, public sector rural policies, imaging and re-imaging, the social dynamics of rural change, and sustainability of tourism and recreation in rural areas. Case studies come from Europe, Canada, and New Zealand.

Sem, John H. 1992. Tourism. Proceedings of a Regional Conference, October 16-18, 1991, Jackson, Mississippi. Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University.

The author discusses the importance of tourism for rural economic development. He argues that careful planning and development of authentic attractions are important if a rural community is to safeguard its resources. He also notes that community values are an important rural resource and care should be taken to protect them in the tourism planning process.

Travel Industry Association of America. 2001a. "Rural Tourism: Small Towns and Villages Appeal to U.S. Travelers." Web site:

This press release summarizes the importance of tourism to rural America based on the results of a recent poll by the Travel Industry Association of America. The statement lists various data on rural tourism, including the primary purpose of trips to rural America, the most common tourist activities, and information on lodging.

U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Travel and Tourism Administration. 1989. National Policy Study on Rural Tourism and Small Business Development: Final Report. Vienna, Virginia: Economics Research Associates.

This report summarizes the major findings, conclusions, and recommendations of a series of conferences dealing with rural tourism. The conferences focused on the ways in which small businesses in rural areas can be promoted through travel and tourism. They also were interested in determining whether there is a need for Federal policy aimed at developing and promoting small businesses in rural communities through travel and tourism.

Woods, Mike D. 1992. "The Tourism/Rural Economic Development Link," Blueprints for Economic Development, Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma State University, Vol. 2, No. 2: p. 2.

This newsletter article examines the potential of the tourism industry to generate economic development in rural Oklahoma. The author states that the first step in local tourism development is for towns to establish well-defined goals that can be embraced by the entire community. Potential outlets for funding of local tourism efforts are also suggested.

Tourism and Sustainable Development

Bramwell, Bill, and Bernard Lane, eds. 1994. Rural Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development: Proceedings of the Second International School on Rural Development, 28 June-9 July 1993, University College, Galway, Ireland. Clevedon, U.K: Channel View Publications.

This book examines both the theory and practice of rural tourism. It outlines how to conceptualize and implement rural tourism using sustainable practices. Various case studies from Europe illustrate techniques that have been used to help rural areas develop tourism sustainably.

Culbertson, K., D. Turner, and J. Kolberg. 1993. "Toward a Definition of Sustainable Development in the Yampa Valley of Colorado," Mountain Research and Development, Vol. 13, No. 4: pp. 359-369.

This paper addresses a definition of sustainable tourism development in the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and the surrounding area. Based on a study of present land-use procedures and recent projects, a set of qualitative indices, supported by public opinion, is found to determine the acceptable level of development in the area. These results may have applications to other amenity-rich recreation destinations with important tourism facilities.

McCool, Stephen F., and Alan E. Watson, comps. 1995. Linking Tourism, the Environment, and Sustainability. Ogden, Utah: Intermountain Research Station, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Report No. INT-GTR-323.

This is a collection of 14 different essays on subjects related to sustainability, including the market for sustainable tourism, and quality of life issues. Each essay contains an extensive list of references.

Middleton, Victor T. C., and Rebecca Hawkins. 1998. Sustainable Tourism: A Marketing Perspective. Woburn, Massachusetts: Butterworth-Heinemann.

This is one of the first books to address the subject of sustainable tourism from a marketing perspective. The authors' primary focus is how, in practice, one can mitigate the negative effects associated with tourism development while also benefiting from it. The growing role of public-private partnerships is also examined. A strong international perspective is provided, with case studies from South Africa, Australia, and Great Britain included.

Rátz, Tamara, and László Puczkó. 1998. "Rural Tourism and Sustainable Development," paper presented at the September 1998 "Rural Tourism Management: Sustainable Options" conference, Auchincruive, Scotland. Part 1. Web Site:

This paper looks at rural tourism from a Hungarian perspective. The discussion provides a good overview of sustainable development. It provides a number of useful references.

Squire, Shelagh J. 1996. "Literary Tourism and Sustainable Tourism: Promoting 'Anne of Green Gables' in Prince Edward Island." Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 4, No. 3: pp. 119-134.

This article looks at the topic of literary tourism, a subgroup of cultural and sustainable tourism. The focus is on the use of local or regional literary contributions to promote tourism. Although the discussion deals with Prince Edward Island, it has applications to rural areas outside of Canada.

Stabler, Michael J., ed. 1997. Tourism and Sustainability: Principles to Practice. New York: CAB International.

This book addresses the issue of tourism development versus sustainability, particularly from economic, ethical and environmental perspectives. Included is a wide range of case studies where tourism is rapidly developing in fragile environments, including parts of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. It provides a good overview of tourism sustainability for tourism industry practitioners, researchers, and students, from the perspective of a variety of academic disciplines, including geography, sociology, economics, management, marketing, and planning.

Walsh, Jeffrey A., and Steven W. Burr. 1993. The Role of Rural Tourism in Community Development -- A Caveat. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. General Technical Report.

This paper draws on the instructional approach in sociology to achieve a better understanding of the relationship between rural tourism development and sustainable community development. The discussion focuses on the role that tourism plays in rural community development. It may have implications for a broad range of individuals and organizations involved in sustainable tourism development.

Economic and Other Effects of Tourism

Bowling, M. 1992. "Illinois Rural Tourism: Do Rural Areas Benefit from Increases in Travel Expenditures," Small Town, Vol. 22, No. 4: pp. 19-26.

This article estimates the economic benefits that rural areas in Illinois derive from tourism. The author concludes that despite an immense growth in the Illinois travel industry and in the State's budget for travel promotion, rural areas in Illinois did not have the ability to benefit from travel expenditures as successfully as urban areas did during the 1980s. A policy of State intervention aimed at providing travel infrastructure in rural areas is advocated to aid nonmetro communities develop their tourism industries.

Chang, Wen-Huei. 2000. "Bibliography of Economic Impacts of Parks, Recreation and Tourism." Web site:

This bibliography provides a detailed overview of various applications and concepts of tourism impact studies. Included are classic texts and contemporary research. Among the models discussed are input-output analysis, economic base theory, econometric techniques, hybrid models, and non-survey methods.

Eadington, William R., and Milton Redman. 1991. "Economics and Tourism," Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 18, No. 1: pp. 41-56.

This article discusses various applications of economic analysis in assessing the effects of tourism. Topics include consumer and production theory, market structure, deductive modeling, and cost-benefit analysis. The authors show how an economic perspective can provide insight into tourism-related decisions made by consumers, government, and the private sector.

Goldman, George, and Anthony Nakazawa. 1994. Impact of Visitor Expenditures on Local Revenues. Corvallis, Oregon: Western Rural Development Center, Oregon State University. Report No. 145. Web site: (.pdf)
This guide helps communities determine the economic impact that tourists have on local areas. Included is a nine-step procedure that illustrates how to create income multipliers to estimate local economic impacts.

Goldman, George, Anthony Nakazawa, and David Taylor. 1994a. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Local Tourism Development. Corvallis, Oregon: Western Rural Development Center, Oregon State University. Report No. 147. Web site: (pdf)

This report summarizes the steps necessary to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of tourism activities. The procedure is illustrated with examples and figures, and a list of reasons why one would conduct such a study.

Goldman, George, Anthony Nakazawa, and David Taylor. 1994b. Estimating Community Visitor Days. Corvallis, Oregon: Western Rural Development Center, Oregon State University. Report No. 146. Web site: (pdf)

A framework is provided for calculating the effects that tourism activity has on local areas. A model is provided for estimating the economic impact of current tourist attractions, and a guide for calculating the potential effect of new attractions is included. The authors also examine the effect on existing community support services stemming from increased numbers of tourists.

Goldman, George, Anthony Nakazawa, and David Taylor. 1994c. The Economic Impact of Visitors to Your Community. Corvallis, Oregon: Western Rural Development Center, Oregon State University. Report No. 144. Web site: (pdf)

This report discusses the reasons for conducting an economic impact study for tourism activities and stresses the need for early planning in tourism promotion efforts. The authors recommend that communities develop a six-step tourism strategy based on social, environmental, and business components in the local area.

Harris, Thomas R., Jeffrey E. Englin, Shawn W. Stoddard, Tom R. MacDiarmid, and Gary M. Veserat. 1996. "An Analysis of Visitation Potential and Corresponding Economic Impacts of the Great Basin National Park," Journal of the Community Development Society, Vol. 27, No. 2: pp. 248-260.

This study assesses the county-wide economic impacts resulting from enhancing national park facilities, such as hiking trails. The effect on local employment of aging park facilities and various exogenous variables outside the control of local decision makers (such as increases in unemployment rates and gasoline prices) are also examined. Specific models employed include gravity, transfer, and input-output models.

Johnson, Peter, and Barry Thomas. 1990a. "Employment in Tourism: A Review," Industrial Relations Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1: pp. 36-48.

This article explores ways to estimate employment effects resulting from tourism. Specific topics include the "expenditure method" and the "employment count method." A case study of tourism-related employment in Great Britain is offered, with employment estimates of specific tourist attractions provided, including indirect and induced effects of tourism activity.

Johnson, Peter, and Barry Thomas. 1990b. "Measuring the Local Employment Impact of a Tourist Attraction: An Empirical Study," Regional Studies Vol. 24, No. 5: pp. 395-403.

The authors develop a framework for estimating the local employment effects of a museum in the north of England. The study estimates direct, indirect, and induced employment effects. The model also estimates the loss of employment in surrounding areas resulting from tourists visiting the museum.

Jurowski, Claudia. 1996. "Tourism Means More than Money to the Host Community," Parks and Recreation, Vol. 31, No. 9: pp. 110-118.

This article looks at some of the non-economic benefits of tourism. It also identifies that involvement of key community groups in tourism development activities is a central component of successful projects. Strategies for eliciting support from local residents, resource users, and environmentalists are suggested.

Leones, Julie, and Douglas Dunn. 1991. Strategies for Monitoring Tourism in Your Community's Economy. Arizona Cooperative Extension Bulletin. Web site:

This bulletin discusses the economic importance of tourism for local communities. A number of useful strategies for assessing the effect of tourism are offered. Concepts are illustrated using relevant case studies.

Stynes, Daniel J. 2000. "Economic Impacts of Tourism." Web site:

This web site provides an excellent overview for the non-economist of the most important techniques used to estimate the economic impacts of tourism. Basic concepts involved in estimating economic impacts are introduced and discussed and a guide is offered for their interpretation. The discussion is primarily written for tourism industry professionals and researchers.

Travel Industry Association of America. 2001b. "Economic Impact of Travel in the U.S., 2000."

This web site describes the economic importance of tourism in the United States. Specific measures are listed, including taxes generated through tourism, the magnitude of travel expenditures, and the number of jobs created by tourism. The data do not refer exclusively to rural America, but rather refer to the national tourism and recreation industry.

Weaver, Glenn. 1986. "Tourism Development: A Potential for Economic Growth," in New Dimensions in Rural Policy: Building Upon our Heritage, Subcommittee on Agriculture and Transportation of the Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress, pp. 440-444.

This article looks at the rural economic development potential of the tourism industry. The author identifies the following benefits that tourism can bring to a nonmetro community: enhanced employment opportunities, increased income potential for local residents, diversification of the local economic base, additional tax revenues, heightened community visibility, and added cultural opportunities for residents.

Heritage Tourism

American Association for State and Local History, and National Trust for Historic Preservation. 1994. Heritage Tourism: Partnership and Possibilities. Nashville, Tennessee.

This publication provides a general overview of heritage tourism activities. Although not specifically aimed at rural areas, the focus is to highlight the potential for heritage tourism development opportunities in the U.S.

Baker, Priscilla. 1995. Touring Historic Places: A Manual for Group Tour Operators and Managers of Historic and Cultural Attractions. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This manual is a how-to guide designed to meet the needs of tour operators and managers of historic and cultural attractions. The emphasis is on historical attractions, with general information on other types of tourism activities also provided. Although its focus is not exclusively rural, the material has applications to rural heritage tourism.

Baldwin, Fred. 1994. "Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After," Appalachia, Vol. 27, No. 4: pp. 38-44.

This article discusses the experience of Jonesborough, Tennessee in attracting tourists through a local heritage festival. The key to success for this rural community in northeastern Tennessee was a well-developed restoration program that included putting power lines underground, re-bricking sidewalks, and restoring old homes. The experience may have applications for other rural communities considering heritage tourism activities.

Copps, David H. 1995. Views from the Road: A Community Guide for Assessing Rural Historic Landscapes. Washington, DC: Island Press.

This publication looks at the use of highways as a tool for discovering, developing, and highlighting the historic and cultural landscapes of a region. It includes case studies of several rural areas in Kentucky.

Curtis, Mary E. 1993. A Heritage Tourism Tool: National Register of Historic Places. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. General Technical Report No. 176.

This article discusses the importance of the National Register of Historic Places, a Federal planning document that provides a list of historically and architecturally significant properties that are worthy of preservation. The author argues that the National Register gives local and regional tourism officials a perspective on local heritage by providing information and resources to promote heritage tourism.

Dahms, Fredric. 1991. "Economic Revitalization in St. Jacobs, Ontario: Ingredients for Transforming a Dying Village into a Thriving Small Town," Small Town, Vol. 21, No. 6: pp. 12-18.

This article looks at the transformation of St. Jacobs, Ontario from an economically depressed rural town into a thriving and successful tourist destination. Four major factors are identified as critical to revitalizing the local economy: heritage, amenities, access, and entrepreneurial effort. The lessons learned in this case study may be applicable to similarly situated communities seeking improved economies and growing populations.

Dane, Suzanne, and Amy Jordan Webb. 2001a. Share Your Heritage: Cultural Heritage Tourism Success Stories. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This publication highlights a variety of programs and approaches in dealing with different aspects of heritage tourism. Although not exclusively rural in focus, the twenty-four case studies include examples of scenic byways, heritage trails, cultural corridors, heritage areas, art and craft trails, and festivals. Useful contact information is also provided on key partners for each case study.

DeLyser, Dydia. 1995. "Preservation with a Grain of Salt: The Fantasy Heritage of California's Ghost Town," Small Town, Vol. 25, No. 5: pp. 4-13.

This article explores the image of western U.S. ghost towns in the national consciousness. The author concludes that people's images of such towns are often quite different than reality. The discussion has relevance to small towns specializing in heritage tourism, especially those in the American West.

Edwards, J. Arwell, and Joan Carles Llures i Coit. 1996. "Mines and Quarries: Industrial Heritage Tourism," Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 23, No. 2: pp. 341- 343.

This article explores the potential to develop industrial sites, specifically mining areas, into heritage tourism attractions. Although case studies involve non-U.S. areas, the information has applications to domestic industrial sites.

Elkinton, Linda C. 1990. Back Road Adventures: A Private Enterprise Model for Nature Study on Private and Public Land. Proceedings of a Conference, April 9-12, 1989, Wheeling, West Virginia, pp. 322-327. Morgantown, West Virginia: West Virginia University Extension Service.

This article looks at an innovative approach to provide visitors and tourists with personal experiences relating to traditional culture, craftsmanship and rural life in two localities in West Virginia. Tourists learn details of everyday activities, and adventure providers have the opportunity to earn additional income and can demonstrate their skills and knowledge of activities such as native crafts and the natural sciences. The author notes that securing financing for expansion activities has been a problem for some entrepreneurs in the tourism industry.

Garfield, Donald, ed. 1997. Partners in Tourism: Culture and Commerce. Washington, DC: American Association of Museums.

This report, collaboratively produced by various not-for-profit associations and Federal agencies, provides information and resources on a wide variety of issues related to tourism and culture. The report does not focus specifically on rural tourism, but it may be of general interest to rural tourism practitioners.

Green, Joslyn, Cheryl Hargrove, and Amy Jordan Webb. 1999. Getting Started: How to Succeed in Heritage Tourism. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This guidebook provides information about the tourism experiences of a number of communities taking part in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Heritage Tourism Initiative. Through an informative case study approach, principles and steps successful in developing heritage tourism programs are highlighted.

Hovinen, Gary R. 1997. "Lancaster County, Pennsylvania's Heritage Tourism Initiative: A Preliminary Assessment," Small Town, Vol. 27, No. 6: pp. 4-11.

This study examines the Lancaster County Heritage Tourism Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to promote heritage tourism and generate local economic benefits in Central Pennsylvania. The author argues that the ultimate success of a heritage tourism program usually depends on the following criteria: emphasizing unique heritage sites, services, and events; adopting sustainable tourism principles and policies; involving local citizens; developing a consensus among local community leaders in tourism-related issues; effectively using land use controls based on proactive planning; and identifying effective marketing techniques and funding sources. The study may be useful to other rural communities interested in promoting heritage tourism activities.

Jensen, Katherine, and Audie Blevins. 1992. "Lead, South Dakota: The Remaking of a Company Mining Town," Small Town," Vol. 22, No. 6: pp. 4-11.

This article provides an example of heritage tourism development in Lead, South Dakota, an economically depressed mining town in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Highlighting its distinctiveness as a gold mining company town, the town focused efforts to attract tourists starting in the late 1980s by stressing its unique heritage. This case study may offer lessons to other similarly situated towns.

Jensen, Katherine, and Audie Blevins. 1995. "Gambling on the Lure of Historic Preservation: Community Transformation in Rocky Mountain Mining Towns," Journal of the Community Development Society, Vol. 26, No. 1: pp. 71-92.

This article looks at the issue of legalized gambling in the context of four western mining communities. Local economic development effects are examined, and historic preservation activities are compared.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. 1998. Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage. Berkeley, California: University of California.

This book describes how museums take part in the production of "heritage." To achieve profitability, many museums have marketed themselves as tourist attractions. The author argues that although heritage is often marketed as something old, it is actually a new mode of cultural production that offers local places the potential for growth.

Lew, Alan A. 1996. "Tourism on American Indian Lands in the USA," Tourism Management, Vol. 17, No. 5: pp. 355-365.

This article, based on a widely-distributed survey, examines a cross-section of tourism management structures on Native American lands across the Nation. It may be of interest to individuals and organizations involved in tourism activities on Native American reservations.

Mastran, Shelley. 1997. Getting Started in Heritage Area Development. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This guide provides examples of successful heritage areas. The heritage area program, which designates regions of the Nation deemed to have national heritage significance, provides technical assistance and federal funding for historic preservation efforts for designated areas.

National Trust for Historic Preservation. 1995. Heritage Tourism Resource Manual. Washington, DC.

This publication is a reference manual that lists national organizations that can provide assistance to individuals and communities interested in pursuing heritage tourism activities.

Norris, Scott, ed. 1994. Discovered Country: Tourism and Survival in the American West. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Stone Ladder Press.

This book provides a series of critical essays that describe the issue of tourism in the western United States. The discussion is supplemented by a number of photographs.

Purcell, Douglas C. 1991. Heritage Tourism is in the Future of Many Alabama Communities. Resource Development Report, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Auburn Univ., Auburn, Alabama, Vol. 25, No. 3.

This article examines heritage tourism in the context of rural Alabama. Potential benefits of heritage tourism, including an infusion of tourism revenues and an expanded tax base, are highlighted. The strategy may appeal to rural towns in the South that encounter difficulties in recruiting more traditional industries.

Rothman, Hal, ed. 1998. Reopening the American West. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

This book is a collection of essays focused on maintaining the heritage of the Old West. The book provides a broader context through which one can understand specific issues surrounding tourism in the West. Several of the chapters deal specifically with heritage tourism. These include topics such as tourism on Native American reservations and the history of tourism development in the West.

Sem, John, Mike Teskey, and Liz Watchorn. 1997. Experiences and Benefits: A Heritage Tourism Development Model. Ogden, Utah : U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

This report provides in-depth information on heritage tourism. Among the topics covered are a definition of heritage tourism, and a discussion of how to develop heritage tourism programs. Various models and case studies are also provided.

Tisdale, Shelby J. 1996. "Railroads, Tourism, and Native Americans in the Greater Southwest," Journal of the Southwest, Vol. 38, No. 4: pp. 433-462.

The discussion provides a detailed history of tourism development in the southwestern United States from the perspective of Native Americans. Particular attention is devoted to the role of railroads in influencing the lives and traditions of Native populations in the region.

Travel Industry Association of America. 1997. Profiles of Travelers Who Participate in Historic and Cultural Activities: Results from the TravelScope Survey. Washington, DC.

This publication provides a discussion of a 1997 Travel Industry Association of America survey on traveling behavior. It provides useful statistics on historic and cultural tourism and may be of interest to a wide range of readers interested in general trends in tourism.

Western Entrepreneurial Network. 1995. Multi-Cultural Tourism Development Workbook. Denver: University of Colorado at Denver, Colorado Center for Community Development.

This series of workbooks discusses the challenges of multi-cultural tourism development, including difficulties faced by small communities in the tourism planning process. Specific examples are provided through case studies. A corresponding video is also included in each workbook.

Nature-Based Tourism/Ecotourism

Brown, Tommy L., and Daniel J. Decker. 1993. Economic and Social Significance of Recreational Access for the Rural Community. Morgantown, West Virginia: Extension Service, West Virginia University. R.D. No. 759.

This report focuses on the use of renewable natural resources by outdoor recreation and tourism activities in rural communities. The authors emphasize the need for cooperation between local and/or State authorities and private landowners.

Bryant, Rebecca. 1997. "Conservation, Community, and Rural Economic Development," National Civic Review, Vol. 86, No. 2: pp. 181-87.

This article examines the role of Ecotrust, a nonprofit conservation group based in the Pacific Northwest, in advocating innovative approaches to rural development. The discussion emphasizes that rural development need not be dependent on "urban job generators," but may be locally-based, focusing on improving the local quality of life, and utilizing local resources through activities such as tourism.

Bryson, Connie. 1989. "Ecotourism: Tourists and Trees in Alberta," Agriculture and Forestry Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 4: pp. 15-16.

The article argues that economic benefits from tourism in northern Alberta's forests occasionally outweigh those gained from cutting down trees. The key in forest-rich areas, according to the author, is attaining the right mix of logging and ecotourism activities. This typically involves carefully identifying scenic corridors as well as prime locations for forestry activities.

Cater, Erlet, and Gwen Lowman, eds. 1994. Ecotourism: A Sustainable Option? New York: John Wiley & Sons.

This book is comprised of a series of conference papers addressing different aspects of ecotourism from an international perspective. The first set of papers deals with major issues surrounding ecotourism, including sustainability, marketing, and cultural concerns. The second part of the book is devoted to geographic case studies, focusing on areas such as Eastern Europe, Australia and the Pacific, the Caribbean, and Antarctica.

Diamantis, Dimitrios. 1997. "The Development of Ecotourism and the Necessity of Using Environmental Auditing in its Planning Agenda," Proceedings of the 1996 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, March 31-April 2, 1996, Lake George in Bolton Landing, NY. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station Report, General technical report NE ; 232, pp. 19-23.

This article looks at the use of "environmental auditing," a practice that identifies present and potential environmental impacts resulting from nature-based tourism activities. The author argues that this technique can assist resource managers in safeguarding natural assets and can aid in implementing better overall ecotourism strategies. Environmental auditing can also help to achieve sustainable development and can contribute to an overall higher quality of tourist services.

Eagles, Paul F. J., and Per Nilsen, eds. 1997. Ecotourism: An Annotated Bibliography for Planners and Managers. 4th ed. North Bennington, Vermont: The Ecotourism Society.

This annotated bibliography on ecotourism includes topics such as: ecotourism planning, economic issues, community development, local participation, and conservation education and development.

Goodwin, H. 1996. "In Pursuit of Ecotourism," Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 5, No. 3: pp. 277-291.

This paper argues that 'ecotourism' needs to be carefully defined if it is to benefit conservation efforts. Conservation and protected area managers should adopt a definition that contributes to the maintenance of biodiversity. The author offers one such definition. Protected area managers also need to consider how they can take control of nature tourism in the areas they oversee to benefit conservation efforts and enhance the livelihoods of local people.

Guglielmino, J. E. 1998. "Touring to Economic Health," American Forests, Vol. 103, No. 4: p. 31.

This article explores ecotourism as an economic development strategy for rural areas. Although many rural areas have strong ecotourism potential, the author argues that even successful ecotourism ventures require patience for local communities. Examples are drawn from areas with established ecotourism programs, including Alaska and the Grand Canyon.

Janiskee, R. L., and P. G. Chirico. 1997. "Core-and-Buffer Management for Ecotourism in South Carolina's ACE Basin," Proceedings of the 1996 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, March 31-April 2, 1996, Lake George in Bolton Landing, NY. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station Report, General technical report NE ; 232, pp. 293-295.

This report examines how resource managers have been able to balance recreational use and ecosystem protection in South Carolina's ACE Basin area by fostering cooperation among landowners. The area has also benefited from an emphasis on low-impact recreational activities and having resource managers adopt a "core-and-buffer" management model. The ecological integrity of the region's wilderness areas has been protected by a buffer that contains recreation-tourism infrastructure.

Keller, Pierre. 1996. "Tourism and Environment: Towards a New Tourist Culture," (Seminar on Tourism and the Environment, November 21-23, Strasbourg, France), Environmental Encounters, No. 36.

The author discusses the conference proceedings of "Seminar on Tourism and the Environment," which was held in 1996 in Strasbourg, France, to discuss issues surrounding ecotourism. Conference issues dealt with topics such as access to nature and the countryside and management of tourist flows; integration of accommodation infrastructure into the environment; and the promotion and marketing of tourist products based on local heritage.

King, D. A., and W. P. Stewart. 1996. "Ecotourism and Commodification: Protecting People and Places," Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 5, No. 3: pp. 293-305.

This article argues that the ability of ecotourism to protect both people and places remains an unresolved problem. According to the authors, the degree of impact from ecotourism development is related to the degree of market development within the local community and the state of decline of the natural resource base. To protect both people and their places, local populations' claim to control should be guaranteed by both conservation and governmental entities.

Kusler, Jon A., Charles Ray, Elizabeth Zinecker, Karin Savio, Michelle Klein, and Sharon Weaver. 1992. Guidebook for Creating Wetland Interpretation Sites, Including Wetlands and Ecotourism. Berne, New York: Association of State Wetland Managers.

This book serves as a single source of information for local governments, environmental organizations, landowners, and other individuals interested in establishing and maintaining wetland interpretation sites for ecotourism, educational, scientific study, and other related purposes. The discussion focuses on the unique aspects of wetland interpretation sites, and includes such topics as trails, trail guides, and boardwalks. It also introduces relevant issues, lists the steps necessary to establish such sites, and describes how to assess them.

Lash, Gail Y. B. 1998. "Blending Development with Nature through Ecotourism," Proceedings of the Society of American Foresters, National Convention, pp. 178-182.

This article looks at how wilderness areas can be sustainably developed through ecotourism. The author argues that by focusing on "ethical ecotourism," local communities adjacent to ecotourism attractions can plan and manage these natural resources both efficiently and in accordance with their cultural views. The goal for communities should be to strive to attain synergy with the environment in recreation-based activities.

Luzar, E. Jane, Assane Diagne, Christopher Gan, and Brenda R. Henning. 1995. "Evaluating Nature-Based Tourism Using the New Environmental Paradigm," Journal of Agriculture and Applied Economics, Vol. 27, No. 2: pp. 544-555.

This article looks at nature-based tourism activities in Louisiana, a State with a well-established urban-based tourism industry. The authors analyze the decision to participate in nature-based tourism and they identify factors, including attitudinal, which influence Louisiana tourists to participate in nature-based tourism activities.

McConnell II, D. W., Robert H. Becker, and Cary McDonald. 1990. Nature-Based Tourism and Rural Coastal Development: Observations, Options, and Trends. Clemson, South Carolina: Clemson University, Regional Resources Development Institute.

This citation contains two separate reports, "Nature-Based Tourism in Coastal South Carolina" and "Wildlife Enterprises in the Rural South." The first report continues an on-going investigation into non-consumptive nature-based tourism activities in South Carolina, with several case studies provided. The second report explores the viability of wildlife-based enterprises for individual and corporate landowners in the rural South.

McDaniel, Lynda. 2001. "Ecotourism Takes Off in the Heart of Appalachia," Appalachia, Vol. 34, No. 2: pp. 16-21. Web Site:

This article explores opportunities for ecotourism activities in southwestern Virginia. Through the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority, local entrepreneurs can take advantage of business opportunities generated by tourists who visit the region's scenic and recreational activities. The author highlights the need for further entrepreneurial training for local business owners, which would allow them to take advantage of untapped tourism opportunities in the area.

McDill, Marc, Gabriela Silva, James Finley, and Jonathan Kays. 1999. Promoting Ecotourism on Private Lands. University Park, Pennsylvania: Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, Pennsylvania State University. Web Site:

This report identifies a set of factors -- personal, environmental, economic, and social -- needed for successful ecotourism operations. The study area is rural Pennsylvania and Maryland, although the results have potential applications to other regions in the Northeast. Findings may be of interest to private landowners and other local entrepreneurs interested in conducting ecotourism activities, as well as state and local government agencies and other organizations interested in ecotourism.

Machlis, Gary E., and Donald R. Field, eds. 2000. National Parks and Rural Development: Practice and Policy in the United States. Washington, DC: Island Press.

This book examines the interdependent roles of national parks and rural communities in the United Sates. From a multidisciplinary perspective, the book considers how to resolve conflicts arising between communities and nature on protected lands. The discussion has a number of applications to the study of ecotourism, including its mention of "gateway communities" (rural communities located adjacent to national parklands).

Manning, Robert E., and Marjorie Smith. 1993. The Environmental Significance of Historical Parks: A Study of Evolving Park Values. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. General Technical Report No. 176.

This study explores whether values that visitors place on parks -- such as historical, cultural, or recreational characteristics --- evolve over time. Through a case study of Roosevelt Campobello International Park, located in Maine, the authors conducted a survey of park visitors to determine their views of the park. Findings indicate that changes over time both in the park and in the visitor base have influenced how individuals value the park, and that park administrators must be aware of these changes if they are to effectively meet the needs of their patrons.

Mieczkowski, Zbigniew. 1995. Environmental Issues of Tourism and Recreation. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America.

A variety of issues dealing with tourism and the environment are presented in this book. Positive and negative impacts of tourism are discussed, as well as issues of sustainability, tourism management, and ecotourism.

Nelson, James Gordon, and Rafal Serafin, eds. 1997. National Parks and Protected Areas: Keystones to Conservation and Sustainable Development. (NATO ASI series. Series G, Ecological Sciences; Vol. 40). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

This book describes the variety of benefits offered by national parks and protected areas in the context of conservation and sustainable development. Case studies in Europe and North America are provided. The discussion indicates that national parks and protected areas aid in conserving rare species and in preserving biodiversity, help protect water supplies and other resources necessary to tourism, and benefit economic and social development. Planning, management and decision-making concepts are also presented.

Potts, Thomas D. 1993. Nature-based Tourism Enterprises. Clemson, South Carolina: Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Clemson University. Web Site:

This is a beginner's guide to starting your own nature-based tourism business. Different aspects of tourism start-ups are included, including tips and suggestions for the novice entrepreneur.

Potts, Thomas D., and Allan P. C. Marsinko. 1998. Developing Naturally: An Exploratory Process for Nature-Based Community Tourism. Clemson, South Carolina: Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Clemson University. Web Site:

This book is designed to help small towns and rural areas decide whether or not to pursue nature-based tourism. Information for such communities on the potential benefits and costs of nature-based tourism development is offered. The book also provides guidance on how to protect local communities' natural resource base.

Robertson, R. A., C. Dawson, W. Kuentzel, and S. Selin. 1996. "College and University Curricula in Ecotourism and Nature-Based Tourism," Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, Vol. 25, No. 2: pp. 152-155.

This study describes a preliminary inventory of data on ecotourism/nature-based courses at U.S. institutions of higher education. The inventory identified 21 programs that offered at least one such course, with the majority of identified courses having been developed and offered for the first time between 1990 and 1995. Economic development and environmental planning were components in 70 percent of the courses. The research suggests that the number of universities offering a course in ecotourism will likely expand in the future.

Theophile, Karin. 1995. "The Forest as a Business: Is Ecotourism the Answer?" Journal of Forestry, Vol . 93, No. 3: pp.: 25-27.

This article looks at the potential of ecotourism-related activities to generate economic development in wilderness areas. The author stresses the importance of sustainability in maintaining a balance between jobs and the environment. While acknowledging that ecotourism is not a panacea for economic development, the discussion stresses that it can be an important part of an overall strategy for sustainability of wilderness areas if local communities are empowered to evaluate the tradeoffs involved.

U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. 1992. Science and Technology Issues in Coastal Ecotourism - Background Paper. Report OTA-BP-F-86. Web Site:

This report presents information on some of the major trends in ecotourism. It also identifies issues related to resource conservation, ecotourism development and management, and ecotourism planning. It provides a good overview of the topic from a broad-based perspective.

U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. 1995. Economic Impacts of Protecting Rivers, Trails, and Greenway Corridors: A Resource Book. 4th ed. Web Site:

This book is a compilation of recent information on the economic effects of rivers, trails, and greenways. Through case studies, the purpose of the book is to illustrate how parks and greenways have benefited local and regional economies. An extensive list of references is provided.

Wall, G. 1997. "Is Ecotourism Sustainable?" Environmental Management, Vol. 21, No. 4: pp. 483-491.

This article discusses issues surrounding ecotourism and sustainability. The author asserts that if ecotourism is to contribute to sustainable development, then it must be economically viable, ecologically sensitive, and culturally appropriate. The article concludes that sustainable tourism and ecotourism are not necessarily synonymous, and if ecotourism is to contribute to sustainable development, then careful planning and management are required.

Whitlock, Wendy, Kevin Van Romer, and Robert H. Becker. 1991. Nature-Based Tourism: An Annotated Bibliography. Clemson, South Carolina: Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Clemson University.

This annotated bibliography contains over 300 references on nature-based tourism. Broad coverage is also given to cultural, sociological, environmental, and economic issues relating to nature-based tourism. The bibliography is intended to be of use to a broad array of individuals, including practitioners, researchers, planners, and others with an interest in nature-based tourism.


Fennell, D. A., and D. B. Weaver. 1997. "Vacation Farms and Ecotourism in Saskatchewan, Canada," Journal of Rural Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4: pp. 467-475.

This study looks at the use of vacation farms as an option for rural communities with volatile agriculture-based economies. Using a questionnaire distributed in Saskatchewan, the study enumerated specific activities engaged in by vacation farm visitors. The authors recommend the development of ecotourism training opportunities for farm operators, the creation of stronger linkages between vacation farms and public spaces, and further investigation into the relationship between wildlife viewing and hunting activities.

Glenn, Clifford L., and Richard C. Rounds. 1997. The Agri-tourism Industry in Manitoba: A 1997 Profile of Operations and Issues. Brandon, Manitoba (Canada): Rural Development Institute, Brandon University. Report No. 1997-4.

Data on characteristics of farm sites, visitor activities, markets, advertising techniques, government programs, and barriers and opportunities to business were collected by personal interviews or mail-out questionnaires to bed and breakfast operations, vacation farms, and day-tour operations in Manitoba. Respondents indicate that the main difficulties encountered are unpredictable weather, a lack of clientele, the need for facility development, and government regulations. They also indicate that the rural landscape, wildlife, local social events, minimal cultural or economic barriers, and government support create opportunities in the agri-tourism industry.

Hilchey, Duncan. 1993a. Agritourism in New York State: Opportunities and Challenges in Farm-Based Recreation and Hospitality. Ithaca, New York: Farming Alternatives Program, Dept. of Rural Sociology, Cornell University.

This publication offers a detailed examination of farm-based tourism enterprises as alternatives for farmers in New York State. The discussion provides an overview, through case studies, of some of the major issues of concern for agritourism operators in New York. Long-term trends in consumer demand for tourism and recreation suggest that agritourism enterprises such as farm tours, petting farms, and bed and breakfast establishments can help provide an important niche market for farmers throughout the Nation.

Hilchey, Duncan. 1993b. "Leisure Trends Create Opportunities for Farmers," AgFocus, Nov.: p. 10.

The article looks at the potential of farm-based tourism activities to create economic opportunities for farmers. The author highlights three critical factors in successful agritourism activities: social skills, farm aesthetics, and proximity to urban centers. Other important considerations for agritourism operations include insurance liability, government regulations, animal welfare safeguards, and sanitation concerns.

Kuehn, Diane, Duncan Hilchey, Douglas Ververs, Kara Lynn Dunn, and Paul Lehman. 1998. Considerations for Agritourism Development. SUNY Oswego: New York Sea Grant.

This publication offers guidance to community leaders, rural economic development and tourism professionals, and agritourism entrepreneurs on different aspects of agritourism. The discussion focuses on issues for small businesses, agricultural events, and regional agritourism initiatives. The material is supplemented through case studies.

Lobo, Ramiro. 2001. "Helpful Agricultural Tourism (Agri-tourism) Definitions." Web site:

This web site defines a number of terms associated with agritourism. It provides a good overview of different aspects of this type of rural tourism.

Rottman, Susan J., and Jeff Powell. 2002. Farm & Ranch Recreation Handbook. Cheyenne, Wyoming: RLS International. Web site:

This online handbook is a comprehensive guide to ranch-based recreational activities. Its discussion is focused on the needs of the practitioner. Topics covered include ranch recreation planning, assessing ranch recreation potential, ranch-based opportunities and trends, and overall trends in tourism.

Schneider, Sandy S. 1993. "Advantages and Disadvantages of Tourism to an Agricultural Community," Economic Development Review, Vol. 11, No. 4: pp. 76-78.

This article presents information on the advantages and disadvantages for small, agricultural communities in developing tourism activities. Specific economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of tourism are listed. The author argues that for many agricultural areas, the costs of such development often outweigh the benefits. For those areas considering pursuing tourism, the first step is to develop an inventory of the town's assets to determine if a tourism venture can be successful.

Snow, Elinor R. 1994. Farm Holidays and Ranch Vacations. Beltsville, Maryland: Rural Information Center, National Agricultural Library, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rural Information Center Publication Series No. 39.

This selective bibliography provides information about the various types of farm holidays and ranch vacations, including dude ranches, offered throughout the Nation. Citations provide a good cross-section of this niche form of agritourism.

Other Studies/Multi-Focus Studies

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. 2001. The Road Beckons: Best Practices for Byways. Washington, DC.

This report showcases winners of a national competition, set up by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, designed to honor exemplary National Scenic Byways projects. Nine projects are highlighted, including a historic preservation project in Colorado and the successful restoration of a multi-use trail project in Oregon.

Brown, Dennis M., and Jon Fazzone. 1998. "How Rapid Nonmetro Growth Causes Problems in Rural Counties: The Case of Public Transportation," Small Town, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 16-23.

This article examines the challenges facing local government officials in rapid-growth nonmetropolitan counties, with particular emphasis on public transportation needs. Telephone conversations with local officials in eight nonmetro counties that experienced high-growth during the 1990's revealed that transit needs are greatest in study counties that rely on tourism and recreation.

Chesnutt, J. Thomas, V. Wilson Lee, and Mark Fagan. 1992. Attracting the Migratory Retiree. Auburn, Alabama: Alabama Cooperative Extension Service. Report No. CRD-56. Web Site:

This report examines tourism from the perspective of retirees. Emphasis is on the rural South, with case studies drawn from Alabama and North Carolina. The authors conclude that while attracting retirees to local tourism activities is not a panacea for economic development, this strategy offers a means for economic diversification and can help stabilize a declining local economy. It may also represent a low-risk strategy with a good return on investment.

Dane, Suzanne, Amy Jordan Webb, and John Whiteman. 2001b. Stories Across America: Opportunities for Rural Tourism. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation. Web site:

This publication provides case studies of rural regions and small communities that have developed successful tourism programs. It is intended for anyone working on rural tourism development, including professionals and volunteers in tourism, economic development, Main Street revitalization, the arts, recreation, agriculture, historic preservation, and conservation, as well as elected officials. A detailed list of partners is included with each story and an extensive reference list is provided.

Frederick, Martha. 1992. Tourism as a Rural Economic Development Tool: An Exploration of the Literature. Bibliographies and Literature of Agriculture. Number 122. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. August.

This annotated bibliography lists studies that explore the role of tourism in rural economic development. This publication provides a good overview of many different aspects of rural tourism development. Topics covered include general trends in the tourism industry, measuring and forecasting tourism demand, valuation of tourism resources, effects of tourism, and theories and applications of tourism development.

Johnson, Ronald. 1992. "Small Town Bed and Breakfasts: St. Jacobs, Ontario Tries an Alternative Form of Tourist Accommodation," Small Town," Vol. 22, No. 6: pp. 20-25.

This article explores the concept of small-town bed and breakfast (B&B) lodging in the context of St. Jacobs, an Old Order Mennonite community in southwestern Ontario. The author indicates that limited governmental regulation has encouraged the growth of B&Bs in recent years. The author also notes that such establishments typically require minimal start-up costs.

Kennedy, Liam R. 1998. Promoting Tourism in Rural America. Beltsville, Maryland: Rural Information Center, National Agricultural Library, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rural Information Center Publication Series Report No. 60. Web Site:

This report is a revision of an earlier publication focusing on the potential of tourism development for generating rural development. It includes a list of annotated bibliographic citations and contact lists of individuals, organizations, and agencies that deal with tourism in the context of rural development.

Klar, Lawrence R., Jr., Rodney B. Warnick, Janet Byrd, and Patti Pakkala. 1993. Rural Tourist and Non-Tourist Communities in Massachusetts: Quality of Life Patterns, 1980-1990. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. General Technical Report.

This study examines relationships existing between tourism in rural communities and selected quality of life variables in Massachusetts. Rural tourist communities were compared to rural non-tourist communities in terms of quality of life changes over a ten-year period. The authors found that despite similarities in populations and profiles, many differences existed between tourist and non-tourist study communities.

Lickorish, Leonard J., and Carson L. Jenkins. 1997. An Introduction to Tourism. New York: Butterworth-Heinemann.

This book provides a general overview of the tourism industry, primarily from a British perspective. Topics include a history of tourism, measurement of the tourism industry, demand factors, economic impacts, cultural aspects, the environment, and selected international case studies. The text serves as a good introductory resource for many aspects of tourism and offers a wide-ranging list of references.

Mechling, Anne, and Paul Mechling. 1990. Bed and Breakfast. Proceedings of a Conference, April 9-12, 1989, Wheeling, West Virginia, pp. 328-330. Morgantown, West Virginia: West Virginia University Extension Service.

The paper describes the bed and breakfast (B&B) experience in rural Ohio. The authors, operators of a B&B establishment, discuss how to set up and operate such a facility. The discussion may be relevant to other would-be entrepreneurs interested in becoming bed and breakfast proprietors.

National Tourism Education Clearinghouse. 2002. Web site:

This web site contains a variety of useful information for those interested in different aspects of tourism. In particular, the site contains a listing of national, State, and regional links on tourism, including specific journals that focus on tourism, hospitality, leisure, and recreation.

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development. 1998. "Rural Travel and Tourism Focus of National Conference," Rural Development News, Vol. 22, No. 3: pp. 8-9. Web Site:

This article comments on the National Extension Tourism Conference, a multi-agency meeting held in May 1998, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to discuss future policy needs of the rural travel and tourism industry. The article comments that a need exists for the public and private sectors to work together to help rural communities develop tourism and accommodate the needs of visitors. It is also noted that Federal agencies must work together effectively with each other in tourism development efforts if Government resources are to be used efficiently.

Ryan, Chris. 1991. Recreational Tourism: A Social Science Perspective. London: Routledge.

This book examines the psychological, sociological, and economic factors that influence an individual's choice of where to travel. Other topics include the implications for tourism of changing work patterns in the future, the social and environmental effects of tourism, tourism planning, and marketing.

Sharpley, Richard, and Julia Sharpley. 1997. Rural Tourism: An Introduction. London: International Thomson Business Press.

This book looks at a variety of issues relating to rural tourism, primarily from an international perspective. Topics include supply and demand issues, marketing, planning, and tourism management. Chapter 3 describes the historical development of national parks in Utah.

Siegal, Paul B., Frank O. Leuthold, and Judith I. Stallman. 1995. "Planned Retirement/Recreation Communities Are Among Development Strategies Open to Amenity-Rich Rural Areas," Rural Development Perspectives, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 8-14.

This article focuses on how amenity-rich rural communities can increase their local tax revenue base by attracting new retirees, a population that typically demands fewer public services. Although the study is place specific, it is applicable to other areas.

U.S. Federal Highway Administration. 1990. An Analysis and Summary of the 1990 National Scenic Byways Inventory. Greenbelt, Maryland: Greenhorne & O'Mara.

This report provides Congress with an update of a nationwide inventory of existing scenic byways. Through the use of secondary data sources, the publication provides information on the extent of this Federal Highway Administration program by State.

U.S. Federal Highway Administration. National Scenic Byways Program. 1997. Community Guide to Planning and Managing a Scenic Byway.

This publication is a technical resource guide for State and local transportation officials and local communities. It is aimed at assisting in the scenic byways designation process. It is made up of two separate documents: one that explains the role of community participation in initiating, inventorying, and structuring a scenic byway; and a second that explains how to prepare corridor management plans.

U.S. Federal Highway Administration. National Scenic Byways Program. 1999. Byway Beginnings: Understanding, Inventorying, and Evaluating A Byway's Intrinsic Qualities.

This publication provides a guide for communities and regions interested in establishing a scenic byway. Information on completing an inventory and conducting an evaluation of a potential byway's intrinsic qualities is offered.