Risteski, Michael and Rakichevikj, Gabriela (2018) ANALYSIS OF THE SUPPORT SERVICES IN THE SOUTH-WEST PLANNING REGION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL TOURISM. Knowledge – International Journal. ISSN 2545-4439 and 1857-923X

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Nowadays competition on the tourism market has become very fierce. In order to obtain a high level of competitiveness tourism destinations try to improve their offer in many ways. These improvements contain not only quantitative, but also qualitative upgrades of their tourism offer. Not only improving the quality of tourism services is important but also new and interesting things have to be included in the ever-changing process of providing services and products. Therefore, destinations create new types of tourism that are intended for specific target markets of consumers. In order to do this, destinations have to determine what the strong points are that exist on their territory. More so, the destinations that already are on a higher level of development and that have a higher number of visitors, must be very creative in the creation of new services. Such a destination is the South-West Planning Region in the Republic Macedonia that, compared to the other regions in the country, is the most developed in the manner of tourism infrastructure and number of registered arrivals. The first step of making a detailed inventory of tourism values is creating a register of tourism potentials. Because lake tourism is already fairly developed which also has a pronounced level of seasonality, this region tries to create and develop other tourism types. Especially rural tourism is an unexplored and unexploited opportunity. In this paper the process of creating a Register of potentials for rural tourism development will be elaborated. Specifically, the support services are explored in this paper. The support services represent only one of three general elements of every tourism destination (FAS - methodology). The field research of this study included completing 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 allows assessment of tourist categories identified as "Factors", "Attractors" and "Support Services" (FAS) which portrays the destination as a complexity of interacting subsystems in these three areas and which are interconnected.
The research process included multiple approaches which allowed making proposals by the research team, while different stakeholders of the region identified the tourism potential of rural areas. This in the future will allow for the inclusion of different resources in the rural-tourist offer, as well as creating specific products of rural tourism. An elaborative methodology was implemented within the research process which comprised quantitative and qualitative research aspects. The interpretation of the preliminary results and the exchange of experiences were the subject of revision at organized consultative meetings in the different municipalities. This created synergistic relations between the research team, the observers and the stakeholders who were discussing the gained results.
Key words: Tourism development, FAS-methodology, register of potentials, rural-tourism offer, support services.

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

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