Study of the attitude of local community towards rural tourism business (the case of Racha, Georgia)

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University Press
The attitude of the local population towards rural tourism business is one of the most important factors in the development of this direction of tourism. The study of this attitude, the main purpose of the this article, was carried out according to willingness to do rural tourism business, relevant skills and psychological readiness, as well as the ability to assess the quality of tourism services and identify harmful factor in the development of rural tourism. We used the method of sociological research (Face-to-face interview and phone interview). 174 respondents from different villages of Racha were interviewed. 75.2% of respondents have a positive attitude to the development of rural tourism business, express a desire to go into this field of activity. 42.7% of respondents have no any entrepreneurial experience, so in case of practical implementation of their will, they will need to be trained. 83.2% of applicants are aware of the potential difficulties associated with a partial change in lifestyle while doing business. 74.2% of respondents are confident that they will be able to independently cope with the functions of the host. This optimism may be due to the fact that the respondent may want to have a small business, or he is not aware of the technology of doing business. Those willing to go into the tourism business express their readiness to offer tourists other forms of service (auxiliary tourism product)along with the main forms of tourism services (accommodation, food), including a guide during the various tourism activities; 56.5% of respondents believe that their family can serve tourists at average level, 36.6% realize that the services provided in their family can now get “below average” score, only 6,9% believe that they can offer a higher level of service. More than 39% think that the major home repairs are required to improve the quality of accommodation. The vast majority of respondents, 92.4%, believe that the main problem of rural tourism is the difficulty of access to finance. In terms of severity, unregulated infrastructure is in second place. Most of the respondents hope to use non-local agricultural products to provide food services. The results of the study conducted can be used in the development of municipal and regional programs for the development of rural tourism.
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Racha, rural tourism, development, attitude, business
Economics and Business, №2, 2019, pp. 196-208