The State of Development of Equestrian Tourism in the Lublin Region in the Context of Environmental Conditions
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Introduction. In recent years spending free time in the Lublin Region has been more frequently related to equestrian tourism based on the infrastructure of the existing centres. Papers published so far focus mainly on a detailed description of features of horses used for equestrian tourism. Few papers have analysed offers and issues related to the promotion of this form of tourism. There is no paper discussing the spatial distribution of equestrian tourism centres, or analysing their offer at the regional scale. In response to this, a study was undertaken with special consideration of the features of the natural environment. Material and methods. In the period from October 2010 to April 2011, secondary information (statistics, registers, scientific papers) was analysed and primary material (field inventory, diagnostic interviews and an opinion poll) on the state of equestrian tourism in the Lublin Region was collected. Results. The analysis of the spatial distribution of 61 equestrian tourism centres subject to the inventory reveals that the highest number of centres function in the Zamooeæ and Biała Podlaska poviats. The comparison of offers in the scope of equestrian tourism in the Lublin Region shows that the basic offer of the region includes four kinds of services: horse riding, sleigh riding, chaise riding and horse riding courses. The highest number of horse treks is offered by centres in the Biała Podlaska poviat. Conclusions. In view of the data obtained, an asset in the scope of the development of equestrian tourism is the structure of offers directed at tourists and the infrastructure that already exists. Moreover, the development of this form of tourism is favoured by the features of the natural environment; the majority of trails and centres are located in environmentally valuable areas. Particularly the landscape, the filtrating-detoxicating properties of plant assemblages, their bioclimate and aesthetic value should contribute to the development of a complex offer (appropriate promotional package) of equestrian tourism in the Lublin Region
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