Authenticity, interaction, learning and location as curators of experiential agritourism

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Abstract

Agritourism is an important supplementary activity in agricultural regions, attracting numerous visitors in search of new experiences and providing alternative incomes to those in rural areas. Whilst tourism literature has progressed in defining and characterising agritourism, there continues to be limited knowledge concerning what contributes directly and indirectly to enhancing and deepening the agritourism experience, particularly the role of visitor-provider interaction and the emotional connection to place. In this paper, we address this gap by exploring agritourism in Western Australia, drawing on a survey of providers and ten semi-structured interviews. We find that agritourism was comprised of four key experiential dimensions (location, authenticity, interaction, and learning) differentiated by six contextual factors which are either endogenous or exogenous to the provider. Our findings show how the agritourism experience can be curated, contributing to the establishment of a better understanding of how providers can improve visitor experience and the attraction of rural areas. The research offers a framework for understanding the role of location as a cross-cutting experiential dimension to better inform policymakers, regional development agencies and agritourism providers in developing agritourism ‘products’ that may increase visitor numbers and sales, improve regional development outcomes, and enhance rural understandings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103294
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume108
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2024

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