Rural and Mountain Tourism

UNWTO understands Rural Tourism as "a type of tourism activity in which the visitor’s experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle / culture, angling and sightseeing. Rural Tourism activities take place in non-urban (rural) areas with the following characteristics: i) low population density, ii) landscape and landuse dominated by agriculture and forestry and iii) traditional social structure and lifestyle".

Mountain Tourism is a type of "tourism activity which takes place in a defined and limited geographical space such as hills or mountains with distinctive characteristics and attributes that are inherent to a specific landscape, topography, climate, biodiversity (flora and fauna) and local community. It encompasses a broad range of outdoor leisure and sports activities".

Rural and mountain tourism have a high potential to stimulate local economic growth and social change because of its complementarity with other economic activities, its contribution to GDP and job creation, and its capacity to promote the dispersal of demand in time (fight seasonality) and along a wider territory.

Events

World Congresses on Snow and Mountain Tourism (Andorra)

The Congress provides a regular platform to understand the challenges and opportunities of the snow and mountain destinations and to acquire an overview of successful business models, innovation, the impact of climate change and tourism marketing.

Euro - Asian Mountain Resorts Conferences

This series of conferences provides an overview on the mountain destinations within a broader context and covers topics around the three major pillars: i) sustainable development and planning, ii) investments and incentives and iii) operational issues.

The Euro - Asian Mountain Resorts Conferences identify the current environmental, structural and market oriented challenges in mountain destinations and explore the opportunities to maximize the economic potential and social change for the local communities through a sustainable mountain tourism development and management.

​Research

Publication CoverSustainable Mountain Tourism – Opportunities for Local Communities (Executive Summary)
Recognizing the potential of mountain tourism for driving the socioeconomic growth and development of local communities, this publication presents a summary of the information generated at UNWTO’s mountain tourism events (i.e. World Congress on Snow and Mountain and Euro-Asian Mountain Tourism Conference), including a systematic definition of mountain tourism. In addition, it gives an overview of the development of mountain tourism in different parts of the world over time, and the recent structural changes affecting this segment as a result of new market patterns.