Agritourism: the new cash cow for farmers?
During these times of underfed cattle and the crisis affecting the agriculture industry, some farmers have a duty to revitalize the local economy in an attempt to turn things around. Investment in agritourism seems to offer a magic solution. Charline Dubois, a young researcher at the University of Liege, has focused on this subject by analyzing the different types of agritourism that exist in Wallonia and Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.
The field is open!
“Agritourism is just like the TV show L’Amour est dans le Pré”! was the wry answer of an individual who filled in a field questionnaire issued by Charline Dubois during her doctoral thesis. This surprising assessment requires clarification…At the current time, there is no consensus on the terminology, definitions and concepts involved in agritourism. Many authors have nonetheless tried to clarify the situation. For example, in 2006, Marcotte et al. established a gradation; this included all the terms used to describe tourist activities in the rural environment(1). While rural tourism encompasses “all activities that are practiced by humans in the rural environment”, agritourism, (sometimes called agrotourism) is practiced in an agricultural environment or an environment set aside for agricultural activity. Farm tourism is limited to the boundaries of the farm.
(1) Marcotte P., L. Bourdeau & M. Doyon (2006). « Agrotourisme, agritourisme et tourisme à la ferme ? Une analyse comparative », Téoros, Vol. 25 n°3, 80 p.