In the past two decades, community involvement in local policy-making has gained increasing attention as an alternative approach to rural development in the European Union (EU), particularly in the context of the complementary sectors of agriculture such as tourism. Although there is a wide range of integrated approaches to tourism development in rural areas identified in the literature, the event-based approach has not been at the centre of attention so far. This paper aims to fill this gap and reports on the collaborative capacity building of the LEADER. 11A French acronym derived from 'Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale', meaning 'Links between the rural economy and development actions'. Local Action Groups (LAGs) for rural tourism promotion in the context of an innovative, national-level event, the 'Hungarian Rural Tourism Days'. A mixed-method approach was applied to explore and compare the supply-side views on the successes and failures of the event planning and organisation process and to derive key success factors of the event-based approach to Integrated Rural Tourism (IRT). The results provided evidence on the consequences of the failure to integrate local concerns into the event organisation process and highlighted the critical role of the intermediary management in establishing trust relationships with the rural service providers. Furthermore, it is argued that the major challenge of the event-based approach to IRT rests in the capacity of the stakeholders to collectively plan and implement a marketing strategy at the local level.
- Success factors