This paper investigates the perceptions of tourists and gatekeepers (such as tour operators and destination marketing organizations) on integrated rural tourism (IRT), noting their role in consuming and marketing the more recently acknowledged qualities of rurality, such as food processing, creativity and the arts, heritage and outdoor recreation. The focus is on the potential for IRT development in the England-Wales border region, an atypical tourist destination, peripheral in character and lacking a consolidated tradition of well-established destinations. Results from tourist questionnaires suggest that their overall experience in the region is positive, but one that can improve further with progress on the key dimensions of IRT. Findings also indicate that, while the national border presents a unique opportunity for cooperative branding and marketing efforts, only a few gatekeepers are capitalizing on the brand of the 'Marches' (the border) to promote the market and visual presence of the region, both nationally and internationally.
- Border region
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management