APPLYING THE FAS-METHODOLOGY FOR IDENTIFYING AND ANALYZING NATURAL FACTORS IN THE SOUTH-WEST PLANNING REGION FOR RURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

Risteski, Michael and Kocevski, Jordan (2018) APPLYING THE FAS-METHODOLOGY FOR IDENTIFYING AND ANALYZING NATURAL FACTORS IN THE SOUTH-WEST PLANNING REGION FOR RURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT. HORIZONS – International Scientific Journal.

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Abstract

Tourist competition has become very fierce and unpredictable in the contemporary marketplace. Tourist destinations are constantly trying to be innovative in their tourist offer. One of the most common ways to improve the tourist offer is through upgrading the quality of services and products being offered. However, tourists are not only in the search of high-quality tourism products, but also want to explore and try new things and to visit unknown tourist destinations. Therefore, destinations are developing interesting and attractive types of tourism. This is more important for destinations that are either new on the tourism market, or are in the declining phases in their life-cycle. The South-west Planning Region (SWPR) in the Republic of Macedonia can be regarded as such a destination that is declining although in the past few years we can see an increase in tourist arrivals. However it is important to mention that the current infrastructure is still based on the development of lake tourism. Global trends show that tourists more and more want to explore nature-based tourist destinations as well as to visit cultural areas. Therefore, the SWPR must develop some new tourism type in this direction. Such an attractive type of tourism is rural tourism. In this paper we will explore the natural base for the development of rural tourism in the SWPR by using the FAS-methodology. More specifically the natural factors will be elaborated as part of the complex Factors-Attractors-Support Services (FAS). The data that will be presented in this paper are in fact the results obtained from the created Register of potentials for rural tourism development in the SWPR. The natural factors that will be explored are the results of the conducted quantitative and qualitative research activities as part of the study for creating the Register. The field research of this study included completing, evaluating and analysis of a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was based on the FAS methodology applied by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the aim to assess the tourist values in a particular region. This methodology identifies the destination as a complexity of three interacting and interconnected subsystems (Factors, Attractors and Support Services). The results from the questionnaire were the subject of interactive discussions and exchange of experiences with the most relevant stakeholders in the different municipalities of this region. This created synergistic relations between the research team, the observers and the stakeholders who were discussing the gained results. The aim of this paper is not only to promote the importance of rural tourism development in the SWPR, but also to be an applicable basis for creating concrete rural tourism products in this region. It is important to mention that the FAS-methodology has numerously been implemented in many tourist regions in the world. Therefore the practicality of such a research is evident. This should also be the groundwork for further related research activities, not only in this region but also in other spatial units with similar characteristics. KEY WORDS: South-west Planning Region, rural tourism, FAS-methodology, natural factors.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Scientific Fields (Frascati) > Social Sciences > Other social sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality
Depositing User: Mr Bojan Sekulovski
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2018 15:01
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 08:46
URI: http://eprints.uklo.edu.mk/id/eprint/1577

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