Institute for Integrated Rural Tourism
Consulting Services Product Development Marketing Services

Bread oven in village of Socorro, Siguatepeque, Honduras

The oven can become a central theme for organizing a tourism experience in rural Honduras.

Consulting Services

Institute associates apply their expertise in tourism development, hospitality management, information management, facilities planning and design, rural sociology, and community development to assist individuals and communities successfully build and manage integrated rural tourism enterprises. We focus on product development, marketing, infrastructure assessment and design, and service excellence. We facilitate the development of Enterprise Associations which consist of individual community enterprises seeking to enter the tourism marketplace. These individuals work together as an association in all phases of the tourism development and delivery process in order to establish a presence in the marketplace.

Integrated Rural Tourism Product Development

The Institute works with communities and individuals to identify and develop thematic toursim experiences which are based on the strengths and unique characteristics of the target area. We begin with a process of defining the core assets that tell the story of the community using the key components of integrated rural tourism. The process begins with a core group of interested community members, but soon reaches out to include elders of the community and key stakeholders who can help answer the question, "what makes the story of this rural area unique?" By the end of the process, an Enterprise Association or individual enterprise will have a menu of thematic products that tell the story of the target area by integrating the key components of the integrated rural tourism model. These products will be ready for delivery to the market and will include pricing structure, promotional materials, appropriate visitor management systems, and a marketing strategy.

The owners of a bread oven in the village of El Rincon, Honduras, bake bread weekly for the villagers. They benefit from tourism development by becoming part of the tourism product while the baking process becomes part of the touristic experience. Visitors participate from start to finish in the baking process, beginning with gathering wood in the forest and ending with delivering freshly baked bread to the villagers.

The story of basket making in Tonga can become the organizing theme for an integrated rural tourism experience by weaving together the ordinary life patterns of the Tongan peoples.
Marketing Services

Marketing is among the greatest barriers to successfully integrating tourism into rural communities. The Institute is designed to act as the marketing arm for integrated rural tourism enterprises and destinations. It offers a wide array of marketing services including market intelligence gathering, promotional materials design, strategic marketing planning, website design, and a direct link to the consumer seeking an integrated rural tourism experience through our website.

The Institute For Integrated Rural Tourism Todd Comen, Managing Director (802) 635-1209