Bibliometric Analysis of Research Interest in Rural Tourism
Rural tourism is a form of tourism that takes place in non-urban areas and is characterized by traditional lifestyle, rural culture, and nature-based activities. Over time, its features drew attention not only to more and more visitors, but also to researchers, transforming it into one of the most active fields of scientific study. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the evolution of academic work in rural tourism and the main trends in this domain. Using VOS Viewer, we processed a number of 6,656 studies published between 1964 and 2022 and indexed by Scopus, the world’s largest database for academic journals. Results showed a growing interest in rural tourism, with almost 800 articles published each year over the last couple of years. Different European organizations (e.g. British universities) and scientific journals (e.g. Tourism Management) proved to be highly influential, and through most cited authors and documents have shaped the perspective of academic communities on rural tourism. Finally, the cluster analysis of documents, countries, and word frequency in abstracts, titles, and keywords, based on relevance scores and term frequencies, allowed the mapping of bibliometric networks. Consequently, links and interrelations between all these elements were highlighted, as well as specific timelines showing the exact year when researchers, from different parts of the world, decided to focus on certain issues related to rural tourism and thus, managed to convert them into popular subject areas of study.
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