Professional Higher Education in Sustainable Agritourism

Structural changes in agricultural production have led to the weakening of the rural economy, which has imposed seeking additional sources of income for farmers. In the last twenty years, agritourism is becoming a more acceptable activity in the rural areas offering more and more consumers primarily from urban areas.

For further development of agritourism in Croatia there are significant prerequisites such as a favourable geographic location of Croatia, good traffic connections, preserved natural and cultural heritage, the availability of EU funds for investments in agritourism, and in particular a large number of foreign tourists, whose destination is the Adriatic Sea.

The first and the second level of professional higher education in Sustainable Agritourism study programs will be in line with the guidelines of the European and Croatian Qualifications Framework and with the Europe 2020 Strategy, thus aiming to contribute to increasing the quality level of professional higher education and ensure the progress and development with a greater potential for employment and self-employment in Croatia and the neighboring region.

The idea for the proposal and development of the new PHE study programme in Sustainable Agritourism arise from an extent scientists’ and practitioners’ market research and the concrete requests for new and rather desirable knowledge of the agriculture and tourism labour market and therefore should be considered as a valuable attempt in the synergy of PHE institutions and practitioners in this field.

Sustainability of this project is reflected in the improvement of the competence of teaching staff and in the development of a new professional skills required by the labour market, available to be obtained by completion of the first and the second level of professional higher education in Sustainable Agritourism, that links the principles of organic agricultural production, sustainable development and knowledge and skills in agritourism.