Management Theory and Studies for Rural Business and Infrastructure Development, Volume 26

Development of rural tourism in Latvia capitalizing on regionally relevant human values

Valters Kaže, Roberts Škapars, Deniss Ščeulovs

Abstract

Tourism is becoming increasingly popular and hence significant for Latvian economy. A country like Latvia - scarce in natural resources for production but rich in recreation resources such as unpolluted rural areas, seaside and forests – might naturally benefit from development of rural tourism. However this requires a proper positioning of tourism propositions to meet consumer needs and expectations.
Consumer human values underlying purchasing decisions might offer valuable consumer-centric tools and insights to increase the competitiveness of Latvian rural tourism offer. Particularly, this might be achieved via better match between the human values represented by service provider and important for consumer.
The objective of the paper is to explore the role of human values in preferences for travel destinations and suggest the relevant values to be used for proper positioning of rural tourism offer of Latvia. For this purpose (i) the review of value research methodology applicable to tourism in-dustry is presented; (ii) an empirical analysis of sociological data from nationwide value surveys used to define and interpret the core values relevant for different regions of Latvia; (iii) suggestions for the development of competitive tourism propositions provided.
Findings of the study support the current positioning of Latvia as tourism destination – the values of the proposition match the natural regional human values. At the same time a distinct dif-ferences among regions are identified that should be taken into account while developing rural tour-ism propositions.

JEL codes: D120, L830, M310


Keyword(s): human values, Latvia, regional development, rural tourism


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Management Theory and Studies for Rural Business and Infrastructure Development eISSN 2345-0355

This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. Responsible editor: Dr Audrius Gargasas.