Agrotourism: A Lever for Rural Development Based on the Cultural Reserve of Greece
Agrotourism is a tangible reality of at least fifty (50) years of age in the developed countries of Europe and a new experience of almost twenty-five (25) years for the Greek economy and society. This is a “new reality” that is different in the Member Countries of the European Union than in Greece. The first ones are based on the entertainment of the tired city man, while Greece, with agrotourism, aims to “stimulate rural income”, highlighting its cultural stock. The two afore mentioned different starting points are those that can predict the future of agrotourism in the country and unleash positive developmental or non-developmental progress. The Greek experience and reality has so far proved that agrotourism is moving within a framework that defines it: the protection of the natural environment, the respect for folk architecture and folk tradition, the revival of old rituals, the sincere human contact, and others which the people of Greek-European cities have to benefit. “Those who want to enjoy peace, tranquility, simplicity and nature will find themselves in their element,” say those who have spent the days of their holidays on a “farm”, and this is what some of the agrotourism organizers in our country declare. Although this approach does not “highlight” the whole range and content of agrotourism, this view has few fans at the moment and seems to constantly gaining new friends. Initiatives and actions to promote agrotourism in Greece have been manifested in many regions. However, most initiatives and actions have been promoted in the past for the consolidation and expansion of agrotourism in the country and, of course, due to European structural programs and to the opportunities offered by Leader I, II and Leader +, although the applications so far show that the “agrotourism idea” in Greece is still going through the first, we would say—steps.
KeywordsAgrotourism Rural development Culture
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