The role of regional products in preserving traditional farming landscapes in the context of development of peripheral regions – Lubelskie Province, Eastern Poland
The article presents the functioning of traditional farming landscapes in Eastern Poland, using the example of Lubelskie Province. This peripheral region, situated on the border of the European Union, demonstrates how the development of tourism, food tourism in particular, based on local crops and regional foodstuffs, helps to protect and promote local heritage and, at the same time, gain additional financial resources for its inhabitants. With a view to the aims set in the paper, the authors investigated the perception of the Lublin Region’s image as regards the predominant features of the natural and socio-economic environment. Moreover, they analysed the recognisability of the regional products and dishes among people from outside the province, who have visited it for tourism purposes. The research material was collected during international and Polish tourism fairs held in five largest Polish cities. The researchers collected 493 questionnaires, 220 of which underwent a detailed analysis. The study shows that the leading functions of Lubelskie Province include agriculture and tourism. The particular form of tourism that should be developed in the region is food tourism and related products due to the natural features and landscape assets. The conclusions drawn from the respondents’
answers as well as the query of strategic documents and promotional campaigns allowed the researchers to outline further directions as regards using traditional farming landscapes with the aim of development of the region. It appears that centuries-old forms of farming and methods of food production, resulting from the region’s history and natural conditions, may determine recognisability, build a brand based on the place of origin concept, and influence the socio-economic situation of the area, preserving traditional landscapes at the same time.