National Extension Tourism (NET): 2021 Conf. Proceedings

Figure 1. Product Offerings

Producers were asked which of the five categories of agritourism they offered. In all four regions, on-farm direct sales was by far the largest category, with 89 percent of respondents in the Northeast offering direct sales, 78 percent in the South, and 77 percent in the Midwest and West. Educational activities followed, being offered by 55 percent of respondents. Entertainment was offered by 48 percent, outdoor recreation by 27 percent, and accommodations/hospitality by 19 percent of respondents. As with the types of products, many respondents offered multiple options. In addition to firmographics, questions in the survey asked operators about their motivations for offering agritourism activities, challenges operating an agritourism business, and the type of support they receive to help develop their business. Overall, agritourism operators have a positive outlook, with almost 70% of respondents planning to expand their operation, either with more employees or capital investment. Almost 20% of respondents planned to hold steady, with less than 5% indicating they would reduce or close their operations. The top three support categories respondents rated as necessary for success were social media marketing and management, legal and liability information, and marketing plan development. When it comes to challenges, operators across the country felt that time management was their biggest challenge, followed by labor availability and concerns about liability issues (see Figure 2). While some of these challenges are faced by all agricultural producers, many agritourism operators noted that the regulations and taxation they experienced and the lack of available

2021 NET Conference Proceedings


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