Agritourism: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Industry Analysis
Visiting farms and ranches to experience agriculture and celebrate harvests is an age-old tradition. In the U.S. and many other countries, this tradition is the basis of an emerging industry known as “agritourism.” Although agritourism appears to be growing in many parts of the U.S., confusion about agritourism limits the ability of researchers and agricultural interests to fully understand this sector’s economic importance and to support its performance over time. A universal understanding of agritourism is needed for clear communication, reliable and consistent measurement, informed policies, and programs that support farms and ranches and their communities. To that end, the authors present a conceptual framework that incorporates core and peripheral tiers, as well as five categories of activities, including direct sales, education, hospitality, outdoor recreation, and entertainment. The goal of this viewpoint is to stimulate commentary and debate that furthers our collective understanding of agritourism as it becomes an increasingly important industry in the U.S.
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