The Distinctiveness of Rural Tourism Marketing Practices: The Case Study of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Merima Činjarević, Almir Peštek, Sanja Tufo


This paper seeks to explore the distinctiveness ofmarketing practices of small rural based businesses in the context of a so-called laggard economy in South- Eastern Europe (see) economy: Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since this study is exploratory, we employed a qualitative methodology using the multiple-case study and semistructured interviews.We collected nine cases of small rural- ased tourism business and conducted interviews with their owners. The data analysis is guided by the interpretive research paradigm. The results show that the majority of small rural-based tourism businesses are engaged in marketing activities, and they seem to have an entrepreneurial and professional attitude toward marketing actions. Moreover, the majority of small rural-based tourism business follows the so-called zoning model promoting the outstanding natural beauty and integrity to visitors. Based on the critical concepts identified during the coding process in the analysis, we extracted the following themes: product variety, the authenticity of experience, marketing capabilities, and business challenges. This study deepens our understanding of marketing activities of small tourism business in rural areas.Moreover, it provides valuable information to policy-makers to design and implement policies/programmes that foster the growth of these types of businesses.

Keywords: rural areas, marketing, tourism development, small tourism business

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