The purpose of this research is to accomplish the evaluation of the main factors in the growth of rural tourism in the municipalities of Smolyan, Laki, Chepelare, Zlatograd, Devin and Assenovgrad in the Rhodopi region.
In those municipalities the situation is aggravated by the demographic collapse, worsened age structure of the population, lack of occupation, seasonal emigration of the active population, needs for big industrial enterprises, exaggerated dependence on farming for earning the living. The growth of rural tourism will contribute to improving the socio-economical condition of the municipalities.
The research is based on interviews with the owners and managers of tourism enterprises during the period 2009 – 2010. The most popular objects of rural tourism were surveyed – a farm house, a guest house and a family hotel. The main factors influencing rural tourism growth were ascertained in each of the researched municipalities. The research and analysis are the basis for developing a strategy for the growth of rural tourism in these municipalities.