Abstract

Tourism is becoming increasingly significant for the Xiajin County economy. The county has abundant natural, cultural and historical resources, and it would benefit from the development of rural tourism (RT). However, rural areas face many challenges in developing RT. The first step in overcoming these challenges is to engage in strategic planning, which is the process of determining a vision for the desired future and establishing how to get there. This study was intended to highlight the potential for RT in Xiajin County, China. The specific objectives of the study were to understand the current state of RT development in Xiajin County, to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and to provide possible strategies for development of RT in the county. Findings of the study indicate that to grow sustainable tourism, the Xiajin County government should develop, implement and monitor appropriate RT management and marketing plans that include identified weaknesses, strengths, threats and opportunities; its strategic focus should be to increase not only the volume of tourists, but also their spending and length of stay. In addition, the study proposes key recommendations for Xiajin County leadership to consider when developing tourism strategies.

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The Potential for Developing Rural Tourism in Xiajin County, China: A SWOT Analysis

Tourism is becoming increasingly significant for the Xiajin County economy. The county has abundant natural, cultural and historical resources, and it would benefit from the development of rural tourism (RT). However, rural areas face many challenges in developing RT. The first step in overcoming these challenges is to engage in strategic planning, which is the process of determining a vision for the desired future and establishing how to get there. This study was intended to highlight the potential for RT in Xiajin County, China. The specific objectives of the study were to understand the current state of RT development in Xiajin County, to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and to provide possible strategies for development of RT in the county. Findings of the study indicate that to grow sustainable tourism, the Xiajin County government should develop, implement and monitor appropriate RT management and marketing plans that include identified weaknesses, strengths, threats and opportunities; its strategic focus should be to increase not only the volume of tourists, but also their spending and length of stay. In addition, the study proposes key recommendations for Xiajin County leadership to consider when developing tourism strategies.