SERBIAN EPIC POETRY AS A RESOURCE FOR RURAL CULTURAL TOURISM
In an effort to look into the possibilities which would innovate the tourist market in less developed branches of cultural tourism in Serbia, this paper explores the potentials of the travel piece Epic Serbia by the renowned Serbian novelist Milisav Savić for literary tourism development in the country and the region. Epic Serbia resulted from a sort of pilgrimage along the paths of Serbian oral poetry that Milisav Savić undertook from 2015 to 2016. He revisited, among other places, his own home region of Raška in south-western Serbia, the first capital of the Serbian medieval state and home to some of the most important UNESCO-protected structures in Serbia. Savić’s poetic travel journey brought the epic heroes of the Serbian oral poetry into focus, linking them to the geographical places, churches, monasteries, battlefields etc., which are all important part of the Serbian cultural heritage today. The aim of the paper is to present the results of a tailor-made questionnaire concerning the level of potential tourists’ interest in literary tourism, in this case epic tourism closely linked to religious and rural tourism. This would further lead to forming a new tourist "package" arrangement within the field of literary tourism, an almost non-existent branch of cultural tourism in Serbia, which would innovate the market and create room for an increase in the number of domestic and inbound tourists.
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