Since the half of the 1990's, the development of rural areas was directed into a multi-functional form. Apart from main agricultural functions, dominating in the central steering period, different forms of non-agriculture activity started to develop in rural areas. In new conceptions of rural areas development, of important meaning was tourism, including agrotourism.
The main aim of this paper is an attempt to discuss the role of tourism in multi-functional development of rural areas, especially in the Świętokrzyskie voi-vodship.
In the Świętokrzyskie voivodship, a considerable development of agrotourist farms, with that of cooperating institutions, like agrotourist associations, con-sultative teams and agrotourist chambers is recently observed. The agrotourism is very important function of this area. First agrotourist farms were organized in 1993. Most of them are small and are not profitable, thus most of their owners became part-time farmers. The income outside the agriculture can be for them just the agrotourism. At present the Świętokrzyskie voivodship is visited by many tourists from various part of Poland. Agrotourism is a real chance for the Świętokrzyskie voivodship farmers, to ameliorate their difficult economic situation.