Stop. Breathe. Look around you and enjoy the beautiful rural tourism landscapes.

After a small preview, which goal is to teleport you to a landscape full of nature, we are going to speak about a way of traveling: rural tourism. It will sound familiar to you because since we started the fight against Covid-19, rural destinations are trending and have become the best option to disconnect on vacation this year. 

Before packing your bags for the best alternative for travel in 2021, how about exploring more about the development of that kind of tourism to plan your best route?

What is rural tourism and why is it the best way to travel in 2021?

Rural tourism is, according to the WTO (World Tourism Organization), a type of tourism activity where the traveler’s experience is linked to activities carried out in nature, such as agriculture or fishing. In addition, rural tourism is closely related to a rural lifestyle and culture.

One of the things that must be met to be considered rural tourism is that it takes place in non-urban areas, and it must meet 3 characteristics: low population density, a landscape and soil dominated by agriculture and forestry, and a traditional social structure and lifestyle. 

For a traveler looking for new experiences when embarking to a new destination, that type of tourism is the best option to discover fairytale landscapes and disconnect from the noise and connect with their inner voice. In addition, the rural tourist not only benefits from this form of travel, but also contributes to the growth, development and responsible preservation of non-urban areas. 

Benefits of rural tourism: health & social commitment!

After the previous preview, the best way to understand why the development of rural tourism is important and to know the reasons why it becomes the best alternative to travel this 2021, is through its benefits. 

On the one hand, you will find the benefits of this tourism in the rural area where it is practiced and on the other hand, it is also important that you discover some of the advantages for the traveler.

Benefits for the environment

The main benefit of this tourism in the rural environment is that it directly generates economic wealth, promoting greater preservation of the environment. 

The positive impact of controlled rural tourism affects not only to the natural landscape (which will be better cared for), but also the rural population living there.

Local products, to which, as a general rule, people living in urban areas do not have access, are put in value. Thus, the continuity of the gastronomic culture of that environment is also enriched. 

Also, thanks to rural tourism, there is an opportunity to share cultures, generating a greater cultural enrichment. And, in addition, these rural areas are getting everyday more popular, which allows to stop the exodus towards the big cities, promoting and avoiding what are called “empty areas” (areas previously inhabited by population). 

Benefits for the traveler

If you were already convinced to choose rural tourism as your option for your 2021 trip, when you discover all that this healthy way of traveling can do for you, you will start your countdown to your long-awaited vacation.

Rural tourism has not become fashionable because it is the “only way to travel in 2021” in this pandemic world, but because it is the best way to say goodbye to problems, stress, noise, cell phones… That tourism is the perfect getaway for people who live in big cities. 

When you take a trip you are looking to get out of your comfort zone and discover everything new out there, and that can only be achieved if you really get away. Or what is the same, if you get into nature. 

Among the benefits of rural tourism is the desired disconnection, allowing you to rest and contributing to your health. In addition, what you like most about rural tourism is its quality, since despite being in more remote places, this type of tourism has everything you need on vacation. In fact, the accommodations are more than designed to make your stay unbeatable. 

Get active, if you want. And one of the advantages of rural tourism is that it usually has plenty of activities in nature, from mountain routes to some related to animals (perfect for family trips). 

We didn’t want to leave out one of those advantages that fills your stomach. The good thing about rural tourism is that you will taste quality products, which in other places are more difficult to access. 

Different types: make your choice!

There are different types of rural tourism, (although all of them have points in common):

  • Agrotourism: related to agricultural activity and the possibility of interacting with the local population in that environment. 
  • Ecotourism: it is related to the protection of nature and respect for the environment. Activities related to environmental education are usually carried out and have a minimal environmental impact.
  • Adventure tourism: where activities or experiences classified as “adventure” are carried out. There is contact with nature, since they are carried out in that environment. 
  • Health tourism: it is characterized by the existence of thermal centers in the area, either of natural character or spaces that have been enabled to carry out this type of tourism.
  • Cultural tourism: it is carried out in rural areas that have a historical and artistic heritage, with monuments or traditional architecture.

Rural destinations in Europe: Top 5 destinations!

Before we finish, we take a look at the 5 most characteristic or most visited European rural tourism destinations: 

  • #1 Durbuy, the smallest city in the world. (Belgium)
  • #2 Sveti Martin na Muri, preserves the natural heritage and has a spring of medicinal waters. (Croatia)
  • #3 Specchia, awarded as one of the best European emerging rural destinations of excellence. (Italy)
  • #4 Distrito Clonakilty, lush green landscape. (Ireland)
  • #5 Florina, a Greece in miniature. (Greece)

So, whether you are already a rural traveler or not, remember: The best of rural tourism is everything. Enjoy it. 

And if you are an adventurous person (like us), who likes to discover new places and seeks continuous inspiration for your travels, @travelingtheworld, our travel community, is waiting for you!