Rural tourism in France – supplementary activities on the farm

From 23-28th May 2012, a study visit was organized in France, Lower Normandy region for groups of Serbian and Bosnian experienced SMEs in rural tourism.

Normandy is known for half-timbered houses and farm buildings, it has lush meadows and orchards, forests, rivers, lakes and sandy beaches that stretch along the coastline. It offers plenty of cultural, historical and leisure attractions from Mont St Michael to beautiful chateaux and gardens, medieval towns and castles, seaside resorts and of course the Landing beaches of Normandy battle.

The entire region is criss-crossed by paths for walking and cycling. Lakes offer water sports and the rocks and gorges attract rock climbers as well as bungee jumpers. Also tourists can make visits to miniature villages, experience go-karting, golfing or visit many of the Second World War points and monuments.

Our host was local association“Le Savoir faire et decouvert”which has been successfully implementing trainings through the workshop or at the production facility, with trained professionals in instructional practices with stress on quality and environmentally friendly aspects. Daily workshops were engaged to preparation of home made jams, fruits, making tea and meals out of different herbs, making of bio-breads. Participants were encouraged to ask questions, construct a dialogue, in order to share each other’s experience and problems. One day was dedicated to the visit of the host association, few ” gites” or rural guest houses with self-catering or B&B offer. The program of the visit privileged participative methods of education that focus on exchanges between pairs and transfer of practical know-how.

Aim of the visit was to gain new learnings about rural tourism services, see good practice examples in the French rural households, get acquainted with EU legislation in this field, inform on the local organizational structures functioning as a support to rural tourist farms, exchange ideas with French farmers and each other (Bosnians andSerbs).

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