Agritourism and local products in terms of protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians: a participatory discussion on key issues and challenges

Author: , , , , and
Key words: , , , ,
Issue: Volume 16, Issue 1, 2022


The article addresses the development of agritourism and the popularisation of local products as activities that can support the traditional economic functions of the Carpathians (i.e. especially agriculture). The protection of these functions is conducive to combining the preservation of the biodiversity, landscape values, and cultural heritage of the Carpathians with these areas’ social and economic development, fulfilling the objectives of the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians. Using a method of participatory discussion (i.e. the World Café), the key challenges of agritourism development and preservation of local products in the Carpathians were identified. Special attention was paid to groups of issues, such as: environmental and social dimensions, agriproducts and food, the development of local products, crafts and small-scale industrial products, cooperation, branding and marketing, and key trends and foresight.

Full text

Permalink (doi)

Authors Affiliations

Magdalena Kubal-Czerwińska* (1), Tamara Mitrofanenko (2,3), Ágnes Szabó-Diószeghy (4), Mátyás Szabó (5), Krzysztof Szpara (6), Bernadetta Zawilińska (7)
(1) Jagiellonian University, Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Krakow, Poland
(2) United Nations Environment Programme, Vienna Office, Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention
(3) University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, Vienna, Austria
(4) Humtour LLC., Budapest, Hungary
(5) Corvinus University Budapest, Institute of Geography, Geoeconomy and Sustainable Development, Budapest, Hungary
(6) Polish Geographical Society, Rzeszow Branch, Rzeszów, Poland
(7) Cracow University of Economics, Institute of Spatial Development and Urban Studies, Krakow, Poland
* Corresponding author


Aldred, R. (2011), “From Community Participation to Organizational Therapy? World Café and Appreciative Inquiry as Research Methods”, Community Development Journal, vol. 46, p. 57–71.
Bajgier-Kowalska, M. and Tracz, M. (2019), “Modele rozwoju usług agroturystycznych w polskich Karpatach” [“Models of Agritourism Business Development in the Polish Carpathians”], Prace Komisji Geografii Przemysłu Polskiego Towarzystwa Geograficznego [Studies of the Industrial Geography Commission of the Polish Geographical Society], vol. 33, no. 3, p. 188–200.
Baum, A. (2011), “The Tourist Potential of Rural Areas in Poland”, Eastern European Countryside, vol. 17, p. 107–135.
Borsa, M., Chifelea, C. and Egerer, H. (2008), VASICA. Visions and Strategies in The Carpathian Area. Protection and Sustainable Spatial Development of the Carpathians in a Transnational Framework Visions, Carpathian Project, Bolzano, viewed 1 May 2018,
Briedenhann, J. and Wickens, E. (2004), “Tourism routes as a tool for the economic development of rural areas—vibrant hope or impossible dream?”, Tourism Management, vol. 25, no. 1, p. 71- 79.
Brown, J. and Isaacs, D. (eds) (2005), The World Cafe: Shaping our Futures Through Conversations that Matter, Berrett-Koelher. San Francisco, CA.
Călina, A., Călina, J. and Tiberiu, I. (2017), “Research Regarding the Implementation, Development and Impact of Agritourism on Romania’s Rural Areas between 1990 and 2015”, Environmental Engineering & Management Journal, vol. 16, no. 1, p. 157-168.
Carpathian Convention (2003), Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians, viewed 28 April 2020,
Ciolac, R., Iancu, T., Rujescu, C., Milin, A., Merce, I., Marin, D., Dincu, A.M. and Stanciu, S.O. (2013), “Agro-tourism in European Mountain Areas”, Rural Dev. Proc., vol. 6, p. 80–85.
Ciolac, R., Adamov, T., Iancu, T., Popescu, G., Lile, R., Rujescu, C. and Marin, D. (2019), “Agritourism – A Sustainable Development Factor for Improving the ‘Health’ of Rural Settlements. Case Study Apuseni Mountains Area”, Sustainability, vol. 11, no. 5, p. 1467.
Czudec, A. (2013), “Ekonomiczne, środowiskowe i społeczne funkcje drobnych gospodarstw rolnych” [“Economic, environmental and social functions of small farms”], Wieś i Rolnictwo, vol. 2, p. 90–105.
Dębniewska, M. and Tkaczuk, M. (eds) (1997), Agroturystyka – koszty, ceny, efekty [Agritourism – costs, prices, effects], POLTEXT, Warszawa.
Durydiwka, M. (2012), Czynniki rozwoju i zróżnicowanie funkcji turystycznej na obszarach wiejskich w Polsce [Factors of development and diversification of tourist function in rural areas in Poland], Uniwersytet Warszawski, Warszawa.
Durydiwka, M. (2013), “Tourist function in rural areas of Poland. Spacial diversity and changing trends”, Miscellanea Geographica, vol. 17, no. 3, p. 5-11.
Erling, I. and Jarkko, S. (2016), “Tourism and rural community development in Namibia: Policy issues review”, Fennia-International Journal of Geography, vol. 194, no. 1, p. 79–88.
European Parliament and Council of the European Union [EU] (2004), Regulation (EC) no. 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, OJ L 139, p. 1–54.
Faracik, R., Kubal, M., Kurek, W. and Pawlusiński, R. (2014), “The transformation of tourism model in the Polish Carpathians: reporting on the last 20 years of experiences”, Ekonomiczne Problemy Turystyki, [Contemporary issues of functioning of tourism economy], vol. 4, no. 28, p. 285–306.
Gonda, T. (2016), A turisztikai termékfejlesztés elmélete [Theory of Tourism Product Development], viewed 28 April 2019,
Humtour (2019), “CooperAtion of touRism for building PATHways through developIng HANdicraft workshops for tourist and rural TOURISM suppliers”, Project CARPATHIAN TOURISM: Cooperation of V4 Countries, viewed 2 April 2020,
Idziak, W., Majewski, J. and Zmyślony, P. (2015), “Community participation in sustainable rural tourism experience creation: a long-term appraisal and lessons from a thematic villages project in Poland”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, vol. 23, no. 8-9, p. 1341–1362.
Jansky, L., Ives, J.D., Furuyashiki, K. and Watanabe, T. (2002), “Global mountain research for sustainable development”, Global Environmental Change, vol. 12, p. 231–239.
Kondracki, J. (1989), Karpaty [The Carpathians], WSiP, Warszawa.
Kozak, J., Ostapowicz, K., Bytnerowicz, A. and Wyżga, B. (eds) (2013), The Carpathians: Integrating Nature and Society Towards Sustainability, Environmental Science and Engineering, Springer, Heidelberg, Berlin.
Kubal, M. and Mika, M. (2012), “Agritourism in Poland – the Legal Model and the Realities of the Market”, Current Issues of Tourism Research, vol. 1, p. 4–11.
Kubal-Czerwińska, M. (2017), “Agroturystyka jako czynnik aktywizacji zawodowej kobiet na obszarach górskich województwa małopolskiego” [“Agrotourism as a factor for female economic activation in mountain areas of Małopolska voivodeship”], Doctoral thesis, IGiGP UJ, Kraków.
Kudla, N. and Hamkalo, M. (2011), “Karpaty Ukraińskie jako region turystyczny – uwarunkowania oraz możliwości rozwoju” [“Ukrainian Carpathians as a tourist region – conditions and opportunities for development”], Prace Geograficzne IGiGP UJ, vol. 125, p. 63–75.
Kujáni, K. (2017), “Organisational Conditions of Short Food Supply Chains in Hungarian Small Territories”, Gradus, vol. 4, no. 2, p. 222–231, viewed 13 March 2020,
Kurek, W. and Pawlusiński, R. (2014), “Współczesne problemy rozwoju turystyki wiejskiej w Karpatach Polskich” [“Contemporary problems of development of rural tourism in the Polish Carpathians”] in A. Niezgoda and G. Gołembski (eds), Turystyka wobec zmian współczesnego świata: strategie, marketing, programowanie, [Tourism in the face of changes in the modern world: strategies, marketing, programming], p. 33–46, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego, Poznań.
MacFarlane, A., Galvinb, R., O’Sullivana, M., McInerneyc, C., Meaghera, E., Burkea, D. and LeMaster J.W. (2017), “Participatory methods for research prioritization in primary care: an analysis of the World Café approach in Ireland and the USA”, Family Practice, vol. 34, no. 3, p. 278–284.
Manea, G., Orbu, L.M, Matei, E., Preda, M., Vijulie, I., Cuculici, R., Cocoș, O. and Zaharia, A. (2019), “Heritage Advantages Vs. Economic Constraints in The Sustainable Development Framing: A Study on Social Perception in Apuseni Mountains Natural Park”, Human Geographies – Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 173–185.
Manić, E. (2014), “Sustainable rural tourism as a development factor of rural areas: the example of Serbia”, Acta geographica Bosniae et Herzegovinae, vol. 1, p. 17–29.
Maselli, D. (2012), “Promoting Sustainable Mountain Development at the Global Level”, Mountain Research and Development, vol. 32, p. 64–70.
Melichová, K. and Majstríková, Ľ. (2017), “Is rural tourism a perspective driver of development of rural municipalities? – The case of Slovak Republic”, Acta Regionalia et Environmentalica, Nitra, Slovaca Universitas Agriculturae Nitriae, vol. 1, p. 1-6.
Melichová, K., Majstríková, Ľ., Valach, M. and Strnál, M. (2018), “Policy instruments and barriers to rural tourism development – a case study of cluster in the Liptov touristic region in Slovakia”, Ecocycles, vol. 4, no. 2, p. 85-96.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003), Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: A Framework for Assessment, Washington, DC, Island Press.
Morea, A., Vidican, R. and Crişan, I. (2019), “Current National and Regional Trends for Romanian Agritourism”, Scientific Papers Series Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 417–422.
Morea, A., Vidican, R., Crisan, I. and Cirebea, M. (2020), “Introspection in dynamics of agritourism in Romania during 2016-2018”, Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and rural development, vol. 20, no. 1, p. 383-388.
Mura, L. and Kljucnikov, A. (2018), “Small Businesses in Rural Tourism and Agritourism: Study from Slovakia”, Economics and Sociology, vol. 11, no. 3, p. 286-300.
Musiał, W., Sroka, W. and Wojewodzic, T. (2010), Sytuacja ekonomiczna gospodarstw z terenów górskich i podgórskich [Economic situation of farms from mountain and foothill areas], Instytut Ekonomiki Rolnictwa i Gospodarki Żywnościowej, Państwowy Instytut Badawczy, Warszawa.
Niewiadomski, Z. (2004), “The Carpathians as a region of international co-operation”, Europa Regional, vol. 12, no. 4, p. 168–172.
Oriade, A. and Robinson, P. (2017), Rural Tourism and Enterprise Management, Marketing and Sustainability, Cabi, Oxfordshire.
Przezbórska-Skobiej, L. and Kudla, N. (2017), “Regional Aspects of the Development of Rural Tourism in the Carpathian Region of Ukraine (The Example of Lviv Province)”, European Journal of Service Management, vol. 4, no. 24, p. 51–57.
Sandell, M., Mikkelsen, B.E., Lyytikäinend, A., Ojansivu, P., Hoppu, U., Hillgrén, A. and Lagström, H. (2016), “Future for food education of children”, Futures, vol. 83, p. 15–23.
Schilling, B.J., Sullivan, K.P. and Komar, S.J. (2012), “Examining the economic benefits of agritourism: The case of New Jersey”, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, vol. 3, no. 1, p. 199–214.
Széll, A., Szabó, M. and Szabó-Diószeghy, A. (eds), (2017), How to Attract Tourists: Ecotourism handbook for rural handicraft entrepreneurs and actors of tourism, Tiszabábolna, Magyarország, Tisza Menti Mezőség Turizmusáért Egyesület.
Szpara, K. (2011), “Agroturystyka w Karpatach Polskich” [“Agritourism in the Polish Carpathians”] in M. Mika (ed), Prace Geograficzne, vol. 125, p. 161-178 IGiGP UJ, Kraków.
Szpara, K. (ed.) (2016), Wspólnie dla zrównoważonego rozwoju Karpat. Poradnik o Konwencji Karpackiej [Together for the sustainable development of the Carpathians], Stowarzyszenie Ekopsychologia, Zakliczyn.
The World Café Community Foundation (2020), The World Café, viewed 15 July 2019,
Turnock, D. (1999), “Sustainable Rural Tourism in the Romanian Carpathians”, The Geographical Journal, vol. 165, no. 2, p. 192-199.
Turnock, D. (2002), “Prospects for Sustainable Rural Cultural Tourism in Maramures, Romania”, Tourism Geographies, vol. 4, p. 62–94.
UN [United Nations] (1992), Agenda 21. Programme of Action for Sustainable Development, United Nations Conference on Environment & Development. Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992, viewed 20 April 2018,
UN [United Nations] (2011), Protocol on Sustainable Tourism to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians, viewed 28 April 2019,
UN [United Nations] (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, United Nations General Assembly (A/68/100), viewed 28 April 2019,
UN [United Nations] (2017), Protocol on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians, viewed 28 April 2019,
UNEP [United Nations Environment Programme] (2007), Carpathians Environmental Outlook, Geneva, United Nations Environment Programme, Switzerland, viewed 28 April 2019,
Ustawa z dnia 25 sierpnia 2006 r. o bezpieczeństwie żywności i żywienia [Act of 25 August 2006 on food and nutrition safety], (Dz.U.2006 nr 171 poz. 1225).
Vîntu, C.R., Chiran, A., Leonte, E., Ștefan, M. and Jitea, M. (2016), “Can Agritourism Be a Viable Niche Market for the Small Romanian Fruits and Vegetables Producers?”, Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, vol. 44, no. 4, p. 619–624.
Warszyńska, J. (1995), Karpaty Polskie. Przyroda, człowiek i jego działalność [The Polish Carpathians. Nature, man and his activities], Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków.
Zawilińska, B. and Szpara, K. (2016), “Participative Model of Tourism Development Planning in a Region of High Natural Value: A Case Study of the Polish Carpathians”, Scientific Review of Physical Culture, vol. 5, no. 4, p. 242–253.
Zawilińska, B., Wilkońska, A. and Szpara, K. (2016), Strategia zrównoważonego rozwoju turystyki „Magicznej Krainy Łemków i Pogórzan” na lata 2015-2020 [Strategy of sustainable tourism development of the “Magical Land of the Lemkos and the Pogorzans” for 2015-2020], Centrum UNEP/GRID-Warszawa, Warszawa.

This post has already been read 7173 times!

About journal

Title: Human Geographies - Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography
ISSN online: 2067-2284
ISSN print: 1843-6587
Imprint: University of Bucharest
Frequency: Biannual (May&November)
First volume: 1/2007
Current volume: 18/2024
Language: English
Indexed in: SCOPUS, ERIH PLUS, EBSCO (SocINDEX), ProQuest (Social Science Journals, SciTech Journals, Natural Science Journals), Index Copernicus, National Technical Information Service (NTiS), Bodleian Libraries, ExLibris SFX, DOAJ, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library, Google Scholar, Ulrich
Creative Commons License


Prof. dr. Liliana Dumitrache
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Daniela Dumbrăveanu
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Mariana Nae
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Gabriel Simion
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography- Human and Economic Geography Department, 1 Nicolae Balcescu Av., 010041, Bucharest, Romania

SCImago Journal & Country Rank