The Role of Amenity Resources in Rural Recreation and Tourism Development


  • Carter J. Betz
  • Richard R. Perdue


rural tourism development, amenities, recreation, community, rural economic development.


Amenity resources, defined as anything that provides "beauty, pleasure, or experiences unique to the locale," are the cornerstone on which to build a community tourism system while enhancing life quality for area ·residents. They are the bridge that links recreation and tourism in the community because almost invariably, recreation and park resources are significant community amenities that contribute to tourism development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of amenity resources in rural tourism development by examining the recreation behavior of both rural tourists and residents and the types of attractions visited by travelers to rural areas. Data were analyzed from three major survey research projects conducted in a southeastern state in 1989. To a large extent, both visitors and residents preferred recreational activities that were not dependent on specific developed facilities or resources, but rather on the character and quality of the rural environment. This underscores the need to build a tourism system around a community's special, attractive, and pleasant places-its amenities. Moreover, an amenity resources perspective maintains the integrity of the community and improves the quality of life of its residents. Suggestions are offered regarding the contributions that leisure service managers can make in helping to develop their community's amenity resources for improved economic development through recreation and tourism.





Regular Papers