University Forest Administration, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Union of Rural Associations of Almopia, Greece
Environmental Education Centre of Makrinitsa, Magnisia, Greece
This research analyzes the initial intentions and the final leisure options of visitors travelling to the rural area of Polikarpi, Greece, and the relation between nature-based and agro-tourism. 161 standardized questionnaires and in-depth interviews were used. Important determinants of the intention, final behavior and their relation proved to be the spatial origin and the gender. Non-local and female visitors tend to invest more time enjoying local products while local and male visitors tend to spend more time enjoying nature. Local male visitors seem to combine nature-based with agro-tourism, achieving thereby a multifaceted orientation. Female visitors appear to separate the nature-based from the agro-touristic interests, setting more distinct priorities. The final leisure options of non-local female visitors seem to be driven by their initial intention to enjoy products while the final leisure options of local female visitors seem to be driven by the initial intention to enjoy the nature. Education level, status, income and age proved to be only slightly relevant or irrelevant. Hypotheses that non-local visitors are more stimulated by the “landscape” than the local ones or that the susceptibility to engage with nature- relatede values (“romanticism”) depends on gender proved to be disputable.
Keywords: forest policy, rural development, landscape, local products, gender, spatial origin