The rural regions occupy a largely extended part of the European Union and they are characterized as vital for economic growth and social cohesion. Rural development is a crucial tool for the redevelopment of the agricultural sector and the promotion of differentiation and innovation in the rural regions. The enlargement of the European Union has changed the map of agriculture and an appropriate redevelopment procedure is essential for the development. The rural development policy can contribute decisively to the proper orientation of this process towards a more flexible economy of higher value added, taking always into consideration the cultural, social and environmental singularities of the rural regions. In this study we present the importance of marketing and management as a strategic procedure contributing to rural tourism development and competitiveness. We examine Greek and Hungarian villages, that display different levels of rural tourism development. Moreover, we evaluate the similarities and differences that we discovered during our research and we recommend the positive and negative steps for each country.