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The common goal of the countries is to achieve this goal by targeting the better in economic, sociocultural and political fields in order to provide a more prosperous life for their citizens. All segments of society should benefit equally from the welfare of the country. This necessity raises efforts to reduce the disparities between urban and rural areas. Reducing this difference is a necessity to prevent the problems caused by migration from rural to urban rather than just distribution of income as an indicator of development, and to prevent the dangers that may be experienced in food supply by decreasing the young population living in rural areas. The concept of rural development includes the development of agricultural activities, animal husbandry, local products and rural tourism within itself. Rural tourism plays an important role in creating a competitive rural structure, raising welfare and diversifying income sources. Rural tourism ensures that the intensity of tourism in certain months is distributed throughout the year and tourism revenues are spread throughout the country. Despite all the contributions that rural tourism can make to development goals, it is very difficult for those living in rural areas to realize these investments with their own resources. Therefore, the concept of rural development is emphasized in the National Development Strategy Document. The concept of rural development has gained a new dimension to Turkey's EU accession process. Instrument for Pre-Accesion Assistance Rural Development (IPARD) Programme in two periods in Turkey (IPARD IPARD I and II) are applied. Rural tourism is one of the sectors supported by this program. In the study, a survey was conducted by reaching all 30 enterprises benefiting from IPARD programs in Van province. When the province of Van is analyzed, it is seen that eleven enterprises received grant support for rural tourism investments during the IPARD I program, the amount of these investments was 12.392.434 TL and the amount of the grant they received was 5.212.229 TL. Two of these beneficiaries are young woman entrepreneurs. When the IPARD II program is examined, it is seen that nineteen enterprises receive grant support for rural tourism investments, the amount of these investments is 58.556.313 TL and the amount of the grant they received is 30.178.018 TL. Seventeen of these beneficiaries are young woman entrepreneurs. When IPARD I and IPARD II programs are examined, it is seen that both the number and the investment amount of rural tourism investments have increased and the interest of young woman entrepreneurs has increased. This is in line with the findings of the studies on the IPARD program that increase employment, business revenues and help businesses achieve their goals. With the grant supports, there is an increase in rural tourism investments in the province of Van and a contribution to the welfare of the rural residents.

Rural Development, Rural Tourism, IPARD Program


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