Tourism and Natural Amenity Development: Real Opportunities?

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title

Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty-First Century

Publication Date



Pennsylvania State University Press

First Page


Last Page



The mountains, forests, rivers and lakes, open spaces, and scenic vistas that characterize portions of America's rural landscape have for many years attracted population growth, tourism and recreational visitation, and associated economic development to certain locales where natural amenity values are high. As McGranahan (1999b) notes, natural amenities involving mild climate conditions, topographic variation, and the presence of water areas are closely liked to population growth. From 1970 through 1996 nonmetropolitan counties in the United States that rated high on six natural amenity factors1 grew by an average of 125 percent, compared to an average growth of just 1 percent among counties that rated low on those same measure (McGranahan 1999b; see also Beale and Johnson 1998; Johnson and Beale 1994; Rudzitis 1999; Rudzitis and Johansen 1989; Shumway and Davis 1996).


Originally published by Pennsylvania State University Press. Chapter fulltext available through remote link.
Note: This book can be purchased online here.