Management of countryside walking tourism through understanding users and their needs

Časopis: SCIENCE International Journal

Volume, no: 2 , 3

ISSN: 2955-2044

DOI: 10.35120/sciencej0203043m

Stranice: 43-48


Walking tourism, among the most attractive manners to observe a destination and satisfy the growing demand of visitors for outdoor activities, allows tourists to interact closely with local nature, people, tradition, culture, and heritage. Walking tourism needs low investments and can be developed anywhere. The impacts of greenspace on people’s physical and mental health contribute to the accelerated development of this form of tourism. By better understanding users, it is more likely to develop a product or service that works for them. Despite the efforts of urban areas to become greener and more attractive (Callaghan et al., 2021), rural areas have unique and pristine natural resources that cannot be created artificially. In addition, life in the village is still traditional, peaceful, and easy, customs are respected, and the cultural heritage has been preserved from the influence of the modern, high-tech age and global market trends (Štetić & Šimičević, 2017). When developing a nature tourism product, the focal question is related to real user needs. Such as the lack of information about user needs accounts for 35% of total reasons for start-ups’ failures (CBInsights, 2021), this logic can also easily apply to tourism destinations. To learn about user needs, the starting point is to research users and their motivations, triggers, and context for using the product or service. Considering the impact of greenspace on people’s physical and mental health, countryside walking tourism (CWT), with the village as the pivot of tourist activities, is a rapidly developing form of rural tourism. Properly developed and managed, walking tourism brings social-economic benefits to destinations and gains a significant place in regional sustainable development (Milojković et al., 2023a). CWT, with the village as the pivot of tourist activities, is a rapidly developing form of rural tourism (Milojković et al., 2023b). Understanding users and their needs-based CWT management reduces the risk of expensive failures, ensures timely delivery, sets up and manages a team to design, build, and maintain a product or service, and opens space for innovations. The research purpose is to perceive users of the countryside walking tours and their needs during those tours. Among the general scientific methods, the statistical method and the hypothetico-deductive method were used. The research data were collected using the questionnaire-based survey technique and processed by SPSS. The general results indicated that the management of CWT should target meeting user needs for visiting hidden and original places with a local guide, consuming and buying authentic food and drinks, and raising awareness and building communicative capacities of the local population. The research contribution is to improve the management of rural tourism destinations based on understanding users and their needs for countryside walking tours.
Ključne reči: management, needs, tourism, village, walking