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Abstract

Economic development is the elimination of social poverty, economic inequality, education and health deficiencies. Rural development has an important role in removing socio-economic differences between rural and urban areas. Rural development aims to make better the economic and socio-cultural conditions in rural areas. In 1960, rural development has been began to become a topic of researchs. Since 1970, it has been understood that Rural development has a different and significant influence on the economic development of countries. Rural development has been recognized as a new strategy in the field of development by organizations that have influenced the development policies of countries such as the World Bank and the United Nations for the last decade. Rural development focuses on poverty and inequalities between urban and rural areas. Agrotourism is one of the most important tools used in the realization of rural development. Today, the importance of agrotourism is increasing in both developed and developing countries. Agrotourism is mostly applied in the United States of America, France, Spain, Italy and England. In the United States of America, farms are open to the public in the context of agrotourism almost every period of the year. Agricultural tourism is the involvement of agricultural activities in rural areas in touristic activities. With agrotourism, people, living in cities, are offered the opportunity to take part in farm activities. In the agrotourism area, tourists can pick vegetables and fruits, feed farm animals, buy fresh agricultural products from local markets, horse ride etc., can do similiar activities. In addition, with agrotourism, agricultural entrepreneurship activities of the people in the region are supported. People are employed in rural areas. Also, as people are employed in the villages, migrations from rural to urban areas are decreasing. Concepts of development and rural development are primarily included in the study. Agrotourism is an effective element in rural development. In this context, the concept of agrotourism is explained. Agrotourism practices in both developed and developing countries are examined. In addition, the development of agrotourism in Turkey are emphasized. With the development of agrotourism, development and employment in rural areas will increase. Suggestions are made to policy makers for the development of agro-tourism in Turkey in the light of the samples country examined. Key words: Development, Rural Development, Agrotourism

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