Why Differentiate Rural Tourism Geographies?
Tourism is often identified as an economic diversification option for rural places, but a review of the literature reveals that rural is most often viewed homogenously, as places outside of cities or when differentiated, as the places that are far away (exotic remote) or close to cities (fringe); limited research has identified the places in the middle (the boring bits in between). Experience suggests there are significant differences in the opportunities and challenges that different rural areas experience, yet academic literature and governmental policies and programs do not adequately reflect these differences. Despite many excellent case studies, there has not been an attempt to create a framework that allows for a comparison not only within the same geography, but across these three rural geographies to determine, and thus illustrate, both the need for and the theoretical construct of, differentiated rural tourism geographies. This introductory chapter presents our framework of analysis for differentiating rural, and the geographical context factors used to construct our nine case studies, from the three countries of Australia, Canada and Sweden.
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