Competitiveness in rural tourism between Serbia and Hungary

Volume 4, Issue 2
Pages: 58—66

D. Demirović — Geographical Institute “Jovan Cvijić”, Serbian Academy of Science and Art (Belgrade, Serbia)
K. Košić —
University of Novi Sad (Novi Sad, Serbia)
S. Stjepanović —
University of East Sarajevo (Vlasenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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Competition between tourist destinations and products has recently become very intense. While the market of rural tourism is on the rise, the future of many rural areas is uncertain due to the changes in agricultural production and the growing attractiveness of cities. In this paper, we are going to identify the factors that may influence the competitiveness of rural tourism in Serbia compared with Hungary, which is Serbia’s main competitor. We examined the views of the key stakeholders involved in the development of rural tourism in Serbia and Hungary. Our findings have led us to the conclusion that the level of rural tourism in Hungary is considerably higher than in Serbia as we found a statistically significant difference in the assessment of all the factors, except for ‘Safety and Security’. Hungarian experts do not see Serbia as their country’s competitor, which means that tourism policy makers should consider Hungary as a market that requires greater investment and greater efforts to meet the demands of their sophisticated rural tourists, which is impossible to achieve in a short period of time. In the following period, Hungary should be seen as Serbia’s partner and Serbian stakeholders should develop joint projects with their Hungarian counterparts, which will improve the quality of rural tourism in Serbia. At the moment, the Hungarian market of rural tourism presents an example of good practice.

Keywords: competitiveness, tourism destination, rural tourism, Serbia, Hungary

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.15826/recon.2018.4.2.009

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