Special Issue "Rural Tourism and Sustainable Development of Local Economy in Developing Countries"


A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Sergio Moreno-Gil Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
Interests: Tourism marketing; destination image; sustainability; loyalty; image; biometric analysis
Dr. Arminda Almeida Santana Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
Interests: Marketing; Social Media; Sustainable Tourism; Destination Loyalty; Destination Image; Islands Tourism; Event Tourism; Emotions; Consumer Behaviour; Virtual Reality

Special Issue Information

Tourism is one of the largest economic sectors in the world. Thus, international tourist arrivals grew 5% in 2018 (UNWTO, 2019). In addition, revenues from international tourism reached 1.7 trillion USD (UNWTO, 2019). In this global context, according to UNWTO (2019), sustainability and competitiveness go hand in hand, as destinations and businesses can become more competitive through the efficient use of resources, the focus on local communities and well-being, and the promotion of biodiversity conservation and actions to tackle climate change.

Previous research has demonstrated that sustainable tourism has special relevance to the development of rural tourism. The role of tourism in rural development can help to sustain and improve the quality of life in rural areas.

Just as the tourism sector is affected more than others by the current COVID-19 pandemic, developing countries are among the hardest hit. Thus, developing countries will need post-COVID-19 assistance to develop sustainable strategies to compete in the global market. As the pandemic impacts heavily on the tourism industry, those disadvantaged communities will be affected first and most severely.

This Special Issue aims to reach a better understanding of the importance of formulating sustainable strategies in rural tourism, and how these strategies can contribute to the local economy in developing countries—especially in the new post-COVID-19 scenario.

This Special Issue will therefore provide an opportunity for contributors from the broad fields of business, economics, marketing, international business and management to present their work. Contributions from Africa, Central and South America, and Asia are especially welcome. The following themes would be of particular interest (the list is not exhaustive):

  • How principles of sustainability can be translated into practice by the implementation of regional sustainable tourism strategies.
  • Information communication technologies and the potential for sustainable development and rural tourism.
  • Virtual reality and its potential application in sustainable development and rural tourism.
  • The role of cooperation and community tourism among rural areas to improve sustainability.
  • How interactive relations between community livelihoods and rural tourism development contribute to sustainability.
  • The role of entrepreneurship in rural tourism for sustainable development.
  • Geotourism and rural tourism.
  • Influence of sustainable development on tourists’ emotions.
  • Gender, rural tourism, and sustainability.
  • E-learning and stimulus packages necessary to compete in the global market.

Prof. Dr. Sergio Moreno-Gil
Dr. Arminda Almeida Santana
Guest Editors


Manuscript Submission Information


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.



  • rural tourism
  • sustainability
  • technologies
  • strategies
  • local economy
  • developing countries
  • emotions
  • governance
  • biometric analysis

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.