Rural tourism has been widely acknowledged for its effectiveness in contributing to rural areas’ development. With strong government support, rural tourism has developed in many countries during the last several decades. This study aims to improve the understanding regarding tourism in Korean rural areas using a segmentation approach. The responses of 442 tourists in 23 rural villages were analyzed. Four segments of tourists were identified based on the different benefits they sought for their vacation in rural establishments. The estimation of a multinomial logit model determined the socio-demographic characteristics and the preferred accommodations of a rural tourist. Discussions and implications of the detailed findings are provided in the last section. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.