Community participation in sustainable rural tourism experience creation: a long-term appraisal and lessons from a thematic villages project in Poland

Wacław Idziak , Janusz Majewski , Piotr Zmyślony


The paper has twin but related objectives. It examines the origins of the concept of theme villages in creating new rural tourism experiences and explores issues in the implementation of the concept. It also discusses the role of community involvement in theme village development, probing and testing existing models of local participation in tourism development in the context of five thematic villages in Poland. The five-year research project based on participatory action research covered the entire process of forming thematic rural tourist products. Five years later its effectiveness and sustainability was measured by a follow-up study. As a result, a seven-step community-created sustainable rural tourism development model is proposed. Local involvement in creating thematic villages is much more intensive and has such a wide scope that one cannot speak of facilitating or involving a community in the development process, but rather of tourism development creation by local communities. However, the social focus and inward-oriented perspective of community tourism can hamper effective adaptation of local resources to suit market needs and thus prevent the sustainable growth of community linked rural tourism. Expert external assistance may be necessary at key stages, especially by providing professional knowledge of markets and marketing.
Author Wacław Idziak - Szczecin University (USz)
Wacław Idziak,,
, Janusz Majewski - Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Poznaniu
Janusz Majewski,,
, Piotr Zmyślony (WGM / KT)
Piotr Zmyślony,,
- Department of Tourism
Journal seriesJournal of Sustainable Tourism, ISSN 0966-9582, (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2015
Publication size in sheets1.05
Keywords in Englishcommunity involvement, thematic villages, sustainable rural tourism, community-based tourism planning, community-created sustainable rural tourism development, participatory action research
ASJC Classification1409 Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management; 3305 Geography, Planning and Development
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 40.0, 05-02-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 40.0, 05-02-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 16; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2015 = 1.977; WoS Impact Factor: 2015 = 2.48 (2) - 2015=3.439 (5)
Citation count*81 (2021-06-14)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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