Escape to the Country: realities, challenges and opportunities for rural tourism and leisure ‘beyond recovery’

Session conveners: Dr Eifiona Thomas Lane (Prifysgol Bangor University), Professor Lois Mansfield (University of Cumbria) and Rebecca Jones (Prifysgol Bangor University).

Session format: One in-person session. Key notes and case study presentations drawing from a wide range of practitioner, professional and community groups with discussant with audience participation e.g. via Mentimeter.


Drawing from a facilitated workshop of pooled global tourism and leisure research and practitioner
experiences, this session will facilitate the sharing of lessons learnt and will explore future
opportunities for shaping future responsible rural development towards ‘recovery’. Events and ongoing
changes such as circumstances of Covid lockdown, Brexit travel and trade impacts and wider
environmental and social change require well designed destination management plans, monitoring of
impacts and practical in place regulation, to safeguard host communities from negative physical
resources, maximise positive and negate negative socio-economic impacts of development on host
communities in the countryside

 the countryside as healthy space
 critical and comparative discussion of rural recovery
 Sector profile impacts e.g. business closures, employment, diversification
 food supply chain disruptions and hospitality
 innovative adaptive management strategies
 agri-tourism and rural recovery
 marketing and representations of outdoors
 changing visitor demographic and expectations
 impacts of demands for increased access to outdoor spaces for recreation
 new possibilities for community managed tourism planning,
 Impacts on rural settlements and wider rural space e.g. housing, employment
 governance and regulation of countryside tourism and leisure
 funding opportunities – short, medium and long term and strategic vision
 ongoing sustainable and responsible recovery

Contributions are welcomed from a wide range of academic and practitioner perspectives.
Interdisciplinary perspectives and original local UK or global perspectives from the above and wider
relevant questions are especially relevant. The session conveners encourage participation from new
voices to enable a supportive sharing of lessons learnt to inform pathways to build rural community