Rural tourism – a tool for effective rural development
Rural tourism is one of the kinds of economic activity that envisages involvement of the property of private farm households by providing temporary accommodation, meals, recreation (fishing, horse riding, swimming in pools and lakes and rivers), demonstration of growing processes and caring for plants, animals and bees, as well as making clay products, embroidery, wood carving, wickerwork, etc.), folk rituals, familiarizing tourists with the way of life and living conditions of peasants of the last century, with the features of the region, its sights, the natural landscapes, etc.
Rural tourism can be considered as spending free time in a rural environment which is characterized by a specific architecture, rural life, ethno cultural coloring of the area, etc.
This is a specific form of recreation in private households in the countryside using property and labor resources of private, subsidiary or farm enterprises, natural recreational features of the area and cultural, historical and ethnographic heritage of the region. This type of tourism provides for the stay of tourists in the house of a farmer, a separate (guest) house or on the territory of a private farm.
The farmstead is a prerequisite and the basis of the tourist product of rural tourism. It proposes a package of aggregate services to the client: tourist attractive terrain, traditions and customs of rural hospitality in the area, historical and cultural heritage, gastronomic diversity, etc. The Ukrainian village can offer the tourist an extremely diverse rural tourism product, namely:
- unique (original) living conditions
- huge historical and architectural folk heritage,
- organic food,
- picturesque landscapes, etc.
The socio-economic importance of development of rural tourism in view of the modern priorities for the development of rural areas of Ukraine:
- stimulation of the development of private farm households;
- enhancing local infrastructure development;
- facilitating the sale of surplus agricultural products, increasing additional income of the farmers and deductions to the local budgets;
- activating the local labor market, increasing employment;
- preservation of the ethno cultural identity of the Ukrainians and all communities of ethnic minorities;
- creating opportunities for a good and meaningful recreation of the low-income population;
- positive impact on raising the cultural level and environmental awareness of the people living in the rural areas.
The rural tourism is positively solving the socio-economic issues of the village. It contributes to an increase of employment of the rural population, not only in the production sphere, but also in the servicing sector and promotes rural areas development, it also stimulates development of the services sector: transport, communications, trade, life, recreation and entertainment and other establishments in the village.
Promotion of rural tourism development
- professional training of advisers and experts-advisers on the programs of basic training and advanced training in rendering services in the field of rural tourism at the request of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine;
- studying the discipline «Organization of rural tourism» within the framework of the curriculum for training specialists in the field of «Tourist services»;
- course preparation of citizens who wish to start their own business in the village in the field of rural tourism with the possibility to study the organizational and legal and economic principles of rural tourism development;
- provision of services, seminars and demonstration tours for the development of rural tourism.
- creating a favorable legal environment for the development of rural tourism;
- establishing an effective system for assuring quality of services which will be based on the customer needs, guaranteeing basic standards, including environmental protection criteria, etc.
- formation of stimulation and incentive mechanisms;
- economic support to the development of rural tourism by attracting investments, preferential lending to the owners of estates for modernization of houses, professional training, promotion activities, etc.;
- seeking additional opportunities to increase the knowledge of the rural population and dissemination of information on recreation in the Ukrainian countryside and on the historical, natural, ethnographic features of Ukraine.
Cooperation of Ukraine and the European Union in the field of tourism: political and legal aspect
At the present stage, rural tourism is one of the areas of improvement of institutional mechanisms, since the interest of the world community to the EU as a tourist region is growing form year to year. The joint activities in this area, and thus formation of a common policy will strengthen its global position and will help to establish cooperation between the EU member states.
Article 403 of the draft Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union envisages conclusion of agreements on bilateral co-operation on the development of rural green tourism between the regions of Ukraine and the relevant administrative-territorial units of the EU member states, organization and conducting of training for the rural population, relevant conferences, round table meetings, workshops with the participation of the EU experts, organization of study visits to the EU member states.
Consequently, Ukraine is interested in continuation and deepening of the European integration direction, primarily taking into account the tasks of adaptation of the tourism legislation of Ukraine to the relevant EU directives and standards; liberalization of border and customs formalities for tourists who travel between Ukraine and the EU member states which are generating tourism markets for Ukraine; bringing the quality of tourist services to international standards, harmonization of the system of standardization and certification of tourist companies providing accommodation and catering services in Ukraine in line with EU norms; attracting financial and technical assistance from the EU to the tourism industry of Ukraine with regard to implementation of priority tourism development projects, including at the regional level, in the field of rural tourism, small and medium tourist business, cross-border cooperation, development of tourism infrastructure during transport corridors as well as popularization of the positive tourist image of Ukraine on the European market.
- The Law of Ukraine «On Tourism» (with amendments);
- The Law of Ukraine «On private households» (with amendments);
- Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 15, 2006 No. 297 «On Approving the Procedure for Providing Services for Temporary Placement (Accommodation)» (with amendments);
- Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of July 29, 2009 No. 803 «On establishment of categories for hotels and other facilities designed to provide temporary placement (accommodation) services»
Public association «Association of Hospitality Industry of Ukraine»
Address: 4, A. Petrytsky Str, city of Kyiv, 03155
Association of promotion of rural green tourism in Ukraine
Address: PO Box 4, Kyiv, V.P. Vasyliev, 04209
тел. (044) 223-38-17, www.greentour.com.ua.