Rural Tourism in a Globalized World

Globalization is often a prized trademark of the 21st century. An interconnected world, where the obstacles of time and space have been overcome through massive technological breakthroughs, is indeed something to be admired. A world, in which the free movement of goods, services, and ideas brings together individuals from completely different backgrounds, is also remarkable.

Yet it is questionable whether these revolutionary changes are truly welcomed in the year 2017.

Perhaps at the very beginning of the century, people perceived the era of globalization as one of progressive transformation. Certainly on a technological level, huge steps forward were made in the fields of medicine, transportation, and communication. From a sociocultural perspective however, globalization may not be seen in such a positive light.

Is the resulting homogenization of culture something to be valued and proud of? Recent political results (indicating a rise in populism) suggest not. Opinion polls further prove nostalgia for authenticity, tradition and ethnic roots.

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Cultural Homogenization

A growing appreciation for local elements and authenticity is paradoxically reflected in all aspects of modern life from gourmet food to handmade clothing. Expensive restaurants now boast local, farm raised chicken while top designers sell luxury items sewn by hand. Showing resistance to the pervasive, mainstream influences of globalization translates into highly valued exclusivity.

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Handmade Clothing by Givenchy (left) and Alexander McQueen (right)
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Handmade wedding dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel

Globalization trends have also triggered a shift in the tourism industry, with a growing preference for alternative forms of tourism. Rural tourism is significantly on the rise, where tourists pursue a unique interaction with the local population and a primitive role in traditional activities.

Interestingly enough, the pressure of conglomerating forces has led people crave an escape into native destinations, which still remain untouched by modernity. Demanding tourists now seek these locations in order to experience something different and, more importantly, escape these pervasive influences of globalization.

Under such circumstances, locations with natural geographic beauty and a rich cultural heritage are in the most favorable position to develop and excel in the rural tourism industry.

Greece is one of these magical places, which holds a secret advantage hidden within its ancestral roots.

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