9. Tourism as an economic diversification tool in mountain rural regions (research on the rural tourism facilities in several towns and villages in Smolyan District)

Author: Stefan Videv


Smolyan district is characterized on one side by uneven development of the tourism branch with prevelance of mass tourism, which leads to toverconcentration of tourists flow only in two of the municipals – Chepelare and Smolyan and on one side over 99 % of the accommodations in the district are concentrated there and on the other – by incomplete utilization of the favourable premises for development of alternative tourism in the dirtrict’s small settlements. In this connection the objective of the research is to study and analyze the current state and the possibilities for development of alternative tourism as an efficient tool for diversification of the local rural economy. The research is based on direct inquiries to tourists and owners of tourism facilities in the settlement Momchilovtzi, Orehovo, Trigrad, Dospat, Banite, Devin and Shiroka Luka. Taking in consideration the gathered via system of indicators information, several conclusions regarding stability of the working places, level of income, qualifications of the employees, structure of the proprietorship and professionalization of the tourism business in the small settlements of the districts are provided.

Key words: diversification, rural tourism, rural areas, Smolyan region