Rural tourism is often driven by the desire to experience an authentic, primitive way of life. It’s a form of tourism which is becoming more and more popular in the 21st century, especially by those living in concentrated urban communities. Amidst the era of globalization, appreciation is growing for rural, remote areas where modern tourists escape the imposing forces of technology.
Along with this shift in the tourism industry, I’ve noticed an emerging, revolutionary”do-it-yourself” culture.
“Make-it-yourself cheese” is listed as one of 2017’s upcoming biggest food trends in the Huffigton Post. Online tutorials and self-teaching videos on YouTube are consumed by people of all age groups, while studies also show we try hard to be creative, innovative and crafty (and especially millenials).
Back to Basics
Jeff Fromm makes this exact point in his article, Generation Y is becoming Generation DIY. He writes, “In the past, crafting and “doing it yourself” seemed to be reserved for grandmas and middle aged women book club activities. Now, young adults under the age of 35 dominate the 29 billion dollar crafting industry”.
It’s almost as if we’re refuting the conglomerating technological forces of our era.
And, not surprisingly, the latest marketing efforts revolve around the unanimous desire for “active participation, individual customization and experiential value“.
These values are quite similar to those of the modern day tourist. Intangible values people search for today during the vacation are things like:
a) being part of something genuine
b) stepping away from virtual reality
c) feeling original
So how could this”do-it-yourself mentality” be incorporated in the tourism industry, in hope of boosting the local Greek economy?
In the simplest way, actually.
From Acorns to TedX Talks
The couple have established a variety of projects where volunteers offer 5-6 hours of work per day in return for free accommodation and meals. A resourceful and brilliant idea, resulting in a win-win situation.
“Vine to Wine” is just one of their projects, where guests get to make their own wine.
For me, the acorn initiative is what really stands out from the couple’s work. Started up by Marcy herself, this idea is rooted in the ancient acorn-picking tradition of the island. Marcy has brought the concept to modern standards, as guests can now collect acorns in the thick oak forests of Kea and make tasty treats such as cookies, breads and soups!
Marcy hosts guests form all over the world, and has spoken in high level conferences such as TedX, about her project.
This is a great example of ingenuity and resourcefulness amidst the crisis. I hope others will be inspired and follow in these footsteps to help kick off the island’s rural tourism industry.
For more information visit their website: Red Tractor Farm