The co-evolution of rural tourism and sustainable rural development in Hongdong, Korea: complexity, conflict and local response
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© 2015 Taylor & Francis. This research examines the evolution of rural tourism in Hongdong Town, Korea, and its links to agricultural change, and traditional small farm survival, as part of sustainable rural development. The study is informed by cross-disciplinary literature in rural development, specifically, multi-functional agriculture and nested markets. Results show a complex, dynamic terrain where new strategies are emerging within an agricultural sector struggling to survive global free trade policies and neoliberalism. Here, rural tourism is neither a simple, business-orientated project nor a step-by-step process of tourism “development”. It emerges, together with nested markets, in the rural agricultural domain. Farmers, residents and newcomers draw upon historical practices and cultural knowledge to create innovative, quality products and educational experiences that contribute to the sustainability of local agricultural livelihoods and cultural traditions. However, shifts in public sector roles and structural changes in the growth and power of the agriculture cooperatives exacerbate the tensions and conflicts evident within the community in this struggle for rural survival. The study offers possibilities for new forms of “local tourism experience” and nested markets that can contribute to sustainable rural development, and has links to universal key issues of empowerment, control, understanding, markets and product development in rural tourism.
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