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Special Issue "Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability of Culture and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Bruce Prideaux

Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities, School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Level 3 CQUniversity Square, cnr Abbott and Shields Streets, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable tourism development of natural areas; climate change; remote area tourism; tourism in rural and agricultural regions
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Michelle Thompson

School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Level 3 CQUniversity Square, cnr Abbott and Shields Streets, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agri-tourism; food and wine tourism; tourism in agricultural regions; landscapes; sustainable regional tourism development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Large scale migration from rural areas to towns and cities over the last hundred years has resulted in the vast majority of people in developed nations living in an urban environment where many have little experience of the countryside. The rapid growth of the tourism industry in recent decades has provided an opportunity for urban dwellers to engage with the countryside and the unique experiences that are offered through rural landscapes, nature, heritage, cultural experiences and gastronomy. Interest in gastronomy is one area that has attracted considerable interest and created demand for unique wine and food experiences.

From a research perspective, there has been growing interest in wine, gastronomy more generally and agritourism. There has been rather less research into issues associated with the long-term sustainability of tourism in rural and agricultural regions and how understanding of this type may assist communities that have developed or are seeking to develop a tourism sector.

This Special Issue focuses on issues related to the long-term sustainable development of tourism activity in rural and agricultural regions. We invite you to contribute sumissions on issues related to the long-term sustainability of tourism in rural communities including: strategies for sustainable development; threats to sustainable develoment; development of sustainable tourism experiences; gastronomy; potential impacts of climate change; barriers to sustainable development; modelling of tourism development; and case studies.

Prof. Dr. Bruce Prideaux
Prof. Dr. Michelle Thompson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • rural tourism
  • agritourism
  • rural tourism experiences
  • food tourism
  • barriers
  • climate change
  • tourism sustainability

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle A Countryside to Sip: Venice Inland and the Prosecco’s Uneasy Relationship with Wine Tourism and Rural Exploitation
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2195; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072195
Received: 12 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
In 2016, Italian production of wine exceeded 51 million hectolitres and among the twenty regions, the region with the most production by volume (millions of hectolitres) was the Veneto region, north-east of Italy, with almost 11 million. In particular, the success of Prosecco
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In 2016, Italian production of wine exceeded 51 million hectolitres and among the twenty regions, the region with the most production by volume (millions of hectolitres) was the Veneto region, north-east of Italy, with almost 11 million. In particular, the success of Prosecco at the global level is the most important driving factor at both the economic and productivity levels. The worldwide success of Prosecco wine entails a remarkable change in both the local and regional configuration of agrarian landscapes. Traditional winegrowing swiftly changed into an intensive monoculture with remarkable investments and the spread of new viticulture entrepreneurships. The discussion proposed here intends to investigate the process of heritage construction or ‘heritagisation’, UNESCO candidacy, as an important issue for rural tourism promotion in the context of a productive winescape. We concentrated our analysis on the DOCG area, a complex space where several forces need to coexist; the productive drive of growing requests (global and local) of Prosecco, as well as rural representation based on local habits and a concrete hilly landscape. Rural tourism is clearly an important sector in terms of revenue and employment, especially for local communities, and it can help to ensure economic stability; however, doing so in a way that benefits the area and the landscape is not so straightforward. There are potential problems in facilitating increased urbanization, such as the standardization of landscape and damage to the area if plans are mismanaged. In the case of best practices, a desirable model of tourism can be tapped into while helping rural regions take advantage of more sustainable tourism development and landscape management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Oleotourism: Local Actors for Local Tourism Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051492
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
Olive oil consumption has grown substantially in recent years, due in part to the fact that olive oil is healthy. Much of the global olive oil production comes from the rural areas of Jaén in southern Spain. Surrounding this industry, services such as
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Olive oil consumption has grown substantially in recent years, due in part to the fact that olive oil is healthy. Much of the global olive oil production comes from the rural areas of Jaén in southern Spain. Surrounding this industry, services such as oleotourism are increasing. This paper aims to identify the key elements supporting the development of oleotourism. After a preliminary exploratory analysis of the existing data, a qualitative analysis was performed with actors directly involved in the industry in Jaén. The results helped us define the level of the stakeholders’ involvement and the sustainability, the opportunities, and the constraints affecting oleotourism in this area. The practical implications of this investigation can be useful for governing agencies, local firms, and the tourism industry in support of oleotourism development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Distribution Characteristics of Agritourism Consumption
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10040992
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Agritourism is a newly developed type of tourism, which is significant in promoting the sustainable development of rural economies and ecological environments. The spatial distribution of agritourism consumption is an important basis on which to formulate an agritourism development plan. This paper introduces
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Agritourism is a newly developed type of tourism, which is significant in promoting the sustainable development of rural economies and ecological environments. The spatial distribution of agritourism consumption is an important basis on which to formulate an agritourism development plan. This paper introduces the concept of agritourism consumption, which is applied to develop a theoretical model of spatial distribution based on the analogy that the attraction to agritourism by urban residents is similar to the attraction among charges in physics. With this model, the spatial distribution characteristics of agritourism consumption are investigated under the superposition of multifield sources arising from metropolitan regions. The results indicate that the field strength of agritourism consumption is gradually attenuated with spatial distance. The trend that field strength under multifield sources varies with distance is generally similar to that under a single field source, but the decay rate under multifield sources tends to slow down slightly in different directions. Due to the superposition of multifield sources, the spatial distribution of field strength is no longer in a pattern of concentric circles, but an uneven distribution of contour lines. In addition, there is a positive correlation between field strength distribution and the consumption demand of agritourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle The Economic Valuation of Change in the Quality of Rural Tourism Resources: Choice Experiment Approaches
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10040959
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (833 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examined tourists’ preferences for the change in the quality of rural tourism resources in Korea. This study measured tourists’ satisfaction levels about their recent tourism experience in a stated preference mechanism to estimate the economic value of qualitative improvement associated with
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This study examined tourists’ preferences for the change in the quality of rural tourism resources in Korea. This study measured tourists’ satisfaction levels about their recent tourism experience in a stated preference mechanism to estimate the economic value of qualitative improvement associated with tourism resources. Using a pivot-style experimental design approach in developing the choice experiment, this study estimated econometric models that allow for flexible structures in error components of the utility function. The results revealed that the welfare impacts of increase in satisfaction levels for tourism resources appear to be substantial. Among tourism resources, the households are more sensitive for the change in the quality of local amenities than other tourism resources. Total aggregated benefits generated by the improvement of satisfaction levels for local amenities make up 17.9–18.1% of the total tourism costs. This suggests that the continuous efforts to enhance the quality of tourism resources in rural areas and attract and satisfy rural tourists are important and necessary for the sustainability of rural economies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Development of Rural Tourism in An Giang Province, Vietnam
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10040953
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
This study aims at sustainably developing rural tourism in An Giang Province, an agricultural province located in the South of Vietnam, by identifying the determinants of the satisfaction and revisit intention of tourists based on both qualitative and quantitative approaches. From exploratory interviews
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This study aims at sustainably developing rural tourism in An Giang Province, an agricultural province located in the South of Vietnam, by identifying the determinants of the satisfaction and revisit intention of tourists based on both qualitative and quantitative approaches. From exploratory interviews with experts and comprehensive group discussions, we developed a questionnaire for an official survey of 507 tourists at different tour-sites in An Giang Province. It is found that: (1) there are seven key factors affecting the satisfaction of the tourists, including: spirituality, tourism safety and security, people, food and beverage, natural environment, service prices and tourism infrastructure; and (2) revisit intention of tourists is affected by six factors, including: satisfaction, spirituality, tourism safety and security, people, food and beverage and service prices. Among them, spirituality is a new factor to be thoughtfully considered due to its significant influence on both the tourist satisfaction and revisit intention. From these findings, we proposed some managerial implications for the sustainable development of rural tourism in An Giang Province by enhancing the satisfaction and revisit intention of the tourists after they visit the province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Bonding and Bridging Forms of Social Capital in Wildlife Tourism Microentrepreneurship: An Application of Social Network Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020315
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Tourism has been recognized as an important economic sector, requiring a high degree of involvement from the entrepreneurial sector to diversify tourism products and services to meet increasing demand. Tourism is often considered a tool for economic development and a strategy to improve
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Tourism has been recognized as an important economic sector, requiring a high degree of involvement from the entrepreneurial sector to diversify tourism products and services to meet increasing demand. Tourism is often considered a tool for economic development and a strategy to improve the livelihoods of rural citizens. Specifically, nature-based tourism, such as wildlife tourism, is growing faster than tourism in general, providing a myriad of opportunities for small-scale entrepreneurial engagement. However, several obstacles exist for these small-scale tourism enterprises, such as a lack of social capital. This study examined a network of wildlife tourism microentrepreneurs for bonding and bridging forms of social capital using a social network analysis approach, where bonding and bridging social capital have their own interpretation. Thirty-seven in-person interviews were conducted with wildlife tourism microentrepreneurs from North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound Region. The study revealed that microentrepreneurs interacted with each other in a bridging network structure. The ability to reciprocate with other members of the network was essential for business success. The results identified four key bridging ties connecting potential sub-groups in the network, connected to each other in a redundant fashion. We concluded that the formation of a bridging network structure was a function of entrepreneurial phenomena that may not promote a highly trusted, well-connected network. The findings and implications are further discussed in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Oleotourism as a Sustainable Product: An Analysis of Its Demand in the South of Spain (Andalusia)
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010101
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 1 January 2018 / Published: 3 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1765 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Olive oil has generated a new tourism offer in Spain called oleotourism. Visitors can enjoy landscapes of ancient olive groves and visit its oil mills called almazaras, to learn about its manufacture and to taste different oil varieties. Andalusia, located in the south
[...] Read more.
Olive oil has generated a new tourism offer in Spain called oleotourism. Visitors can enjoy landscapes of ancient olive groves and visit its oil mills called almazaras, to learn about its manufacture and to taste different oil varieties. Andalusia, located in the south of Spain, produces 60% of Spain’s olive oil, having the largest number of almazaras, and therefore most oleotourism offers. This differentiated tourism offer requires identifying the profile of oleotourists to determine sustainable strategies to increase demand without harming the local community. The objective of this study is to identify the Andalusian oleotourism offer according to the profile of oleotourists and project its demand evolution, in order to offer a sustainable product best suited to the demand. With this aim, three techniques are applied in this study: a random survey addressed to oleotourists in Andalusia, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the oleotourism sector in the region, and finally, its demand is projected by using the ARIMA (autoregressive integrated moving average) model. The results indicate a favorable future scenario that should induce entrepreneurs and local authorities to invest in promoting and developing a product. Oleotourism is an alternative that can serve as a complement to agricultural income and generate employment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Analysis of the Distribution of Small Businesses in the Eastern Villages of Gilan Province with Emphasis on the Tourism Sector in Mountainous Regions
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2238; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122238
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of small businesses in rural areas as a key strategy for sustaining the population and improving the quality of life of villagers has always been a concern for many developed and developing countries. Some rural areas provide their villagers with favorable
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The development of small businesses in rural areas as a key strategy for sustaining the population and improving the quality of life of villagers has always been a concern for many developed and developing countries. Some rural areas provide their villagers with favorable conditions for the development of businesses in order to enjoy the potential in the field of tourism. Sustainable development in these areas can be achieved with systematic attention and planning. In the present work, the spatial analysis of the distribution of small businesses in the eastern parts of Gilan Province was studied with an emphasis on tourism in mountainous regions. The study population consisted of all villages in the east part of Gilan Province, and the sample included all businesses officially supported by the Omid Entrepreneurship Fund. The research method was a descriptive analytic in which GIS software and the G statistic were used for the analysis of spatial correlation, clustering, hot and cold spots analysis and buffer zones. Finally, the results of the study showed that the spatial distribution of businesses in different economic sectors (agriculture, industry, services and tourism) were different between 2011 and 2016 in the way the cluster pattern was formed in agricultural and service activities. A cluster pattern cannot be considered in the tourism and industrial activities, but there is a random (point) pattern; in this regard, the results indicate the importance of the factor of distance between the village and the city center in the distribution of tourism businesses. In addition, the highest levels of support for businesses were in the agricultural and services sectors, while the lowest support was in industry and tourism. Finally, the results showed that the distribution of businesses in all activities was much higher in the plains and valleys as compared to the mountainous and hill areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle DMOs and Rural Tourism: A Stakeholder Analysis the Case of Tucker County, West Virginia
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1813; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101813
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rural destination management organizations (DMOs) are faced with considerable challenges as they attempt to promote economic prosperity through tourism. This study sought to identify rural destination management challenges in Tucker County, West Virginia; identify the roles and activities of the destinations DMOs in
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Rural destination management organizations (DMOs) are faced with considerable challenges as they attempt to promote economic prosperity through tourism. This study sought to identify rural destination management challenges in Tucker County, West Virginia; identify the roles and activities of the destinations DMOs in addressing these challenges; and develop a perceived destination management framework. DMO challenges include maintaining authenticity and sense of place; economic diversification; seasonality, low wage jobs, and lack of employees; connecting resorts to small businesses and communities; and establishing a common vision, identity, and coordination of activities. While the majority of tourism literature calls for DMOs to play a dual marketing and management role, this paper makes an important contribution by identifying the need for a Convention and Visitors Bureau and a separate organization with a specific mission to sustainably develop and manage tourism and coordinate activities of the stakeholder network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Sustainable Development of Tourism in South Tyrol: An Analysis of Tourists’ Perception
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101791
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 30 September 2017 / Accepted: 1 October 2017 / Published: 3 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although sustainable tourism concepts are gaining in importance everywhere, related research is quite fragmented with many studies concentrating on environmental sustainability. Seeking to contribute to the general discussion, we first examine the perceptions of sustainability among tourists using a best–worst scaling method applied
[...] Read more.
Although sustainable tourism concepts are gaining in importance everywhere, related research is quite fragmented with many studies concentrating on environmental sustainability. Seeking to contribute to the general discussion, we first examine the perceptions of sustainability among tourists using a best–worst scaling method applied to important aspects of sustainable tourism. Our results show that experiencing nature in an intense and profound way is considered the most important aspect of sustainable tourism whereas grappling with the culture of the host region is perceived as the least important aspect of sustainable tourism in our sample. Second, we analyze if socio-demographic and/or other factors have significant implications for the propensity to increase expenditures for sustainable holiday offers. Applying a simple regression model, we can show that age has a significant and positive impact on the propensity to spend more on a sustainable holiday offer such as overnight stays in an accommodation that is carbon-neutral. Other socio-demographic variables such as gender, education, and income are not significant. Moreover, hotel stars and average expenditures per person per night are significant and have a positive effect on the propensity to spend more on carbon-neutral housing. Two simple policy implications can be drawn: (1) sustainable tourism experiences should prioritize landscape and natural beauty; and (2) sustainable tourism offers are best suited for higher-priced and/or higher starred hotels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle A Conceptual Framework for Agri-Food Tourism as an Eco-Innovation Strategy in Small Farms
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1683; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101683
Received: 16 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1151 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The proposed conceptual framework explores how small-scale farms can combine agricultural products and tourism into an eco-innovation strategy. This paper presents a case study conducted on a family-run farm within the territory of the Paiwan tribal community of the North Dawu Mountain situated
[...] Read more.
The proposed conceptual framework explores how small-scale farms can combine agricultural products and tourism into an eco-innovation strategy. This paper presents a case study conducted on a family-run farm within the territory of the Paiwan tribal community of the North Dawu Mountain situated in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. The area has become an important coffee-farming region since the Japanese colonial period between 1895 and 1945. For many years, most of the indigenous farmers of the area have cultivated varieties of coffee plants using traditional, non-commercial methods, such as a single-sale channel. The small-scale farmer implements an integrated approach that systematically optimizes supply chain relationships to improve both the upstream and downstream sides of agri-food tourism services. The upstream element of agri-food tourism, for example, can be adjusted to employ organic or “natural” farming methods that allow small-scale farmers to secure an “organic” certification. Based on this approach, a small farm is gradually transformed into a type of educational institution that can demonstrate to customers the methods for farming high-quality organic coffee while also attracting tourists of various backgrounds to experience the downstream components of agri-food tourism in a recreational setting. This case study highlights how a particular small-scale farmer plays an important role in attracting other tribal farmers to engage in sustainable practices that help preserve cultural, social, and environmental systems while also presenting agri-food tourism as a brand identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Unlocking Value Creation Using an Agritourism Business Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1618; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091618
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agritourism has achieved a greater importance in the last decade, but despite this relevance, the definition is not aligned everywhere, depending on the contingency variables of the context in which agritourism is located. This paper aims at analyzing the business model’s key success
[...] Read more.
Agritourism has achieved a greater importance in the last decade, but despite this relevance, the definition is not aligned everywhere, depending on the contingency variables of the context in which agritourism is located. This paper aims at analyzing the business model’s key success factors of Italian agritourism by studying their structural, social and economic features, integrated with a sustainability approach. The empirical analysis is based on a sample of agritourism, located in an Italian region. The empirical results show relevant and useful elements to support the sustainable development of agritourism business models in Italy, linking theory, policy and practices. Indeed, these results, together with others related to the economic dimension of the farms, their specialization, and the characteristics of the farmers make it possible to argue that there are common elements, which offer potential for agritourism. In addition, it was possible to identify two different models of agritourism. Agritourism can open new horizons in rural sustainable development, with possible beneficial effects on the environment, society, agricultural heritage and economic growth. In particular, regional policy developers should take into consideration these elements in order to direct correctly efforts. The research shows also some interesting theoretical implications as it contributes to enrich the literature on this particular kind of business model. At the same time, it helps family owners to increase the overall understanding of their agritourism, in order to finalize adequate planning and communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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