Economic Research Report No. (ERR-7) 38 pp

August 2005

Recreation, Tourism, and Rural Well-Being

The promotion of recreation and tourism has been both praised and criticized as a rural development strategy. This study uses regression analysis to assess the effect of recreation and tourism development on socioeconomic conditions in rural recreation counties. The findings imply that recreation and tourism development contributes to rural well-being, increasing local employment, wage levels, and income, reducing poverty, and improving education and health. But recreation and tourism development is not without drawbacks, including higher housing costs. Local effects also vary significantly, depending on the type of recreation area.

Keywords: recreation, tourism, recreation counties, rural development, economic indicators, social indicators, rural development policy

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