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Article

Agritourism and Farms Diversification in Italy: What Have We Learnt from COVID-19?

Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bio-Economy, 00187 Rome, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The authors contributed equally as co-first authors.
Academic Editor: Taiyang Zhong
Land 2022, 11(8), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081215
Received: 31 May 2022 / Revised: 25 July 2022 / Accepted: 28 July 2022 / Published: 2 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture in Urban Food Systems: Models and Practices)
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly disrupted the household behavior in all areas and also those related to eating and daily food. Research carried out shows there have been significant changes compared to pre-COVID levels in the way consumers plan their food purchases. Based on the results of empirical data and emerging information such as ad hoc reports and analysis of academic literature, the authors aim to understand the effect of COVID-19 on agricultural and extra-agricultural activities in diversified Italian farms. More specifically, due to their importance at a national level, the focus of the analysis is represented by the agritourism, how they have reacted to the challenges posed by the pandemic, and towards which evolutionary lines they are orienting themselves to face the next future challenges. Empirical data for this study were collected through the use of a questionnaire survey, managed by the research team. The survey, conducted online during summer 2021, was designed by using a random stratified sampling for which the farms are characterized by a certain heterogeneity of the activities carried out (i.e., hospitality, processing of products, renewable energy production, etc.). The research activity covered the entire Italian territory and the number of responding farms with agritourism activities is equal to 77 (a 17.5% response rate). The results highlight the importance of farm with agritourism activities in dealing with COVID-19 crisis and policy implications in terms of support for the competitiveness of farms, exchange of knowledge, and innovations among farmers that should be taken into consideration to target the next rural development policy at the EU, the national and regional level. At the same time, the sample reaction methods to the pandemic and the changing business strategies highlight a certain resilience of Italian farms with agritourism activities, thus showing their ability to adapt. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19 crisis; resilience; farm diversification; agritourism; sustainable local food system COVID-19 crisis; resilience; farm diversification; agritourism; sustainable local food system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zanetti, B.; Verrascina, M.; Licciardo, F.; Gargano, G. Agritourism and Farms Diversification in Italy: What Have We Learnt from COVID-19? Land 2022, 11, 1215. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081215

AMA Style

Zanetti B, Verrascina M, Licciardo F, Gargano G. Agritourism and Farms Diversification in Italy: What Have We Learnt from COVID-19? Land. 2022; 11(8):1215. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081215

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zanetti, Barbara, Milena Verrascina, Francesco Licciardo, and Giuseppe Gargano. 2022. "Agritourism and Farms Diversification in Italy: What Have We Learnt from COVID-19?" Land 11, no. 8: 1215. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081215

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