Keywords: sustainable tourism, rural tourism, sustainability, Sicily, entrepreneurial success, rural areas, rural locations, agritourism, inland areas, agritourists, land resources, environmental factors, social factors, entrepreneurial success, entrepreneurship
An exploratory study of sustainable rural tourism in Sicily
Recently, a significant interest was noticed around rural tourism, and particularly agritourism, which represents the main specific application. Rural tourism is a sustainable tourism, since the valorisation and conservation of environmental and territorial resources where economic activity is carried out are its main features. From the official statistical data, it appears clear that this activity, widely spread in Italy, may provide a significant financial support both to agricultural firms and to the whole sector of tourism, and thus allows redistributing touristic flows from coastal towards inland areas. The main aims of the paper are both to analyse the agritourist supply in Sicily compared to land resources, and to identify the environmental and social factors which are likely to affect entrepreneurial success. Information gathered from regional statistical reports was supplemented by primary data, collected through interviews to a representative sample of agritourist entrepreneurs working in different rural areas of Sicily.