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Different Forms of Accommodation in Agritourism: The Role of Decoupled Farmer-Based Accommodation in the Ötztal Valley (Austria)

Department of Sociology, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2841; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102841
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 18 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agritourism in Mountain Regions)
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Abstract

The general decline of mountain farming all over Europe suggests encouraging farmers to adapt their farm management and to diversify their activities into tourism. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the impact of different types of farmer-based provision of accommodation on the preservation of the farm and the identification of farmers with farming activities. For our investigation in the case study area of Ötztal valley, Tyrol, Austria, we applied a mixed method approach. First, we developed a heuristic concept for categorizing the types of farms that offer farmer-based accommodation. The term ‘farmer-based’ refers to entities who are active in accommodation services and farming. We collected quantitative data in an online survey and carried out a qualitative focus group. Results reveal the importance of farmer-based accommodation even if decoupled from farm activities within the case study area. This type also supports, next to the ‘authentic’ form of farm-based tourism, the existing agricultural structure and contributes to the positive impact of mountain farming such as for the maintenance of multifunctional cultural landscapes, the provision of ecosystem services, and the viability of rural communities. Therefore, we suggest considering decoupled forms of farmer-based accommodation as agritourism. View Full-Text
Keywords: mountain farming; Alps; farm diversification; typology of agritourism mountain farming; Alps; farm diversification; typology of agritourism
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Stotten, R.; Maurer, M.; Herrmann, H.; Schermer, M. Different Forms of Accommodation in Agritourism: The Role of Decoupled Farmer-Based Accommodation in the Ötztal Valley (Austria). Sustainability 2019, 11, 2841.

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