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  • Author or Editor: Alexandra Svyatunenko x
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Marina Matetskaya, Alexandra Svyatunenko and Olga Gracheva

Nowadays, the commitment of stakeholders to rural tourism is growing in Russia’s rural regions. Even with the country’s tremendous diversity, its natural and cultural monuments, and its historical and new crafts, the tourism industry continues to use only a tenth of its rich potential – this also has an impact on the image of the country as a whole. In order to develop an authentic tourism product for Russian rural regions, it is important to create tourism-related programmes using a wide range of tools to successfully implement them in rural areas. The particular features of rural areas, such as poor transport and hospitality infrastructure, mean that rural tourism initiatives differ from those of city tourism. This chapter examines the experience of several projects initiated by non-governmental organizations that aim to support the initiatives of local residents in the field of rural creative tourism. Along with other governmental support measures and private investments, these projects have a number of advantages in terms of collaborating with local communities, including handicraftsmen/artisans, who present a specific category of business unit. Combining an academic literature review with the case study research, the authors discuss management tools employed by tourism projects in rural areas, the approaches of community engagement in tourism-related projects, and creative tourism models and challenges in rural areas.