Investigating slow tourism: A case study of selected areas in the range of Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria
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- Studentoppgaver (SV-NHS) 
Slow tourism is a new movement that is competing in the tourism industry. Slow tourism differs from slow travel because it embraces all aspects of tourism, including accommodation, activities, transportation, and food. The main characteristics are to experience, to self-realize and to take care of the environment. Slow tourism principles are based on the respect for the local culture, the environment, and to initiate social interaction between travelers and locals. The aim of this research is to investigate if conventional tourism uses slow tourism activities as part of their offering, and therefore, aspects of slow tourism are implemented to develop conventional tourism. The empirical study was developed in the Rhodope Mountains area in Bulgaria and consists of qualitative and quantitative research methods. In the course of this research, a total of eight tourism professionals and two tourists were interviewed while 179 tourists responded to the questionnaires. The results show that hoteliers incorporate slow tourism activities such as slow food, local culture, and experiences, as part of their offering, with the economic and marketing aim of attracting more tourists to their premises, but they have no intention of changing to slow tourism establishers. Along these lines, conventional hotel establishers are more willing to apply slow tourism activities in the summer because it attracts more movement in the area during the low season, and tourists are willing to cooperate with local slow tourism establishers. Guesthouses, local restaurants, and local tour operators are already involved in the slow tourism philosophy and are part of it.
Master's thesis in International Hospitality Management