Re-conceptualising rural resources as countryside capital: The case of rural tourism

Brian Garrod, Roz Wornell, Ray Youell

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301 Citations (SciVal)


Commentators tend to agree that the rural resource is becoming increasingly subject to pressures arising from an ever wider range of economic, social, political and environmental influences. This paper focuses on the case of rural tourism in illustrating the advantages of adopting a sustainable development approach to identifying suitable policies and strategic action plans to assist in addressing these increasingly complex challenges. The central proposition is that much can be achieved in raising the profile of rural tourism and the nature of its interdependence with rural resources by re-conceptualising the rural resource as a kind of ‘capital asset’ of the rural tourism industry. Drawing on recent thinking by ecological economists, an approach based on the concept of the constant capital rule is set out. The paper then outlines some of the benefits of re-casting the rural resource as ‘countryside capital’, using two case-study vignettes by way of illustration. A major conclusion is that re-conceptualising the rural resource as countryside capital provides a more holistic and integrated understanding of the rural tourism production system, which will be required if rural communities are to capture more effectively the potential benefits rural tourism has to offer them. This, in turn, enables a much clearer articulation of the rationale for public-, private- and voluntary-sector investment in rural resources to be made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2006


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