Year of Graduation
Unveiling and evaluation of agrotourism attractiveness factors in Central Federal District of Russia
Faculty of Management
Agritourism has long been a phenomenon in many countries, but its popularity has increased for farmers, tourists and consumers of agricultural products and services (Sharpley & Vass, 2006) more than 10 years ago and nowadays nearly every second tourist (in some countries of Europe) prefers to spend his|her holidays going to the farm with a family, friends or alone. In Russia agritourism or rural tourism is only becoming popular. You can easily understand it coming across an article in a modern magazine, watching TV with a journalistic story about a trip to the farm near Moscow, finding more and more links in google to farms which invite guests.On the supply side, as traditional methods of agriculture production system are becoming less viable, farming communities have experienced economic and social challenges, including decreased farm incomes (Busby & Rendle, 2000). Thus, farmers have looked for alternatives to help diversify traditional farm operations, hoping to reverse the steady erosion of net farm incomes (Fleischer & Pizam, 1997). Farm diversification into tourism, in general, presents a potential to generate additional income, diversify the farming economy, lower risks and uncertainties and form a symbiotic relationship with agriculture for farming communities (Clarke, 1999). Agritourism also provides benefits to tourists and consumers. Since the majority of the general population may have little or no contact with agriculture, agritourism could also be a mechanism by which urbanites can enjoy nature and culture, learn about agriculture and purchase locally grown farm products (Sonnino, 2004). In sum, agritourism has been commonly guided and motivated by a vision for a thriving, diverse, small-scale farm that remains profitable, enhances the environment, enriches the indigenous culture, and improves the quality of life for farmers and consumers.But there are some problems that farmers facing in their wish to start tourism on the farm: investment and knowledge limitations. Very often the sum of money they have is only enough for several facilities they can build on the farm, like a house for guests, sport facilities and so on. And here comes the first question, what is better to buy and to build to attract more tourism on the farm? And on what they can save?While a growing body of literature related to agritourism exists, the vast majority has dealt with tourism from the supply side (Jolly & Reynolds, 2005; McIntosh & Bonnemann, 2006). To date, little attention has been given to farm tourists and their preferences even though the recent growth in agritourism has been driven by both demand and supply (Tew & Barbieri, 2012). There are considerable opportunities for growth of the demand for agritourism as an increasing number of farmers are diversifying into tourism businesses (Lobo et al., 1999). Therefore, it is believed that research should be conducted to understand the factors affecting consumers’ perspectives for agritourism activities in order to fill this gap.This study therefore sets as a goal to determine the attraction factors of agritourism in Russia for local customers. The study is divided into 4 steps: content analysis of the farms in Russia what already working with tourists for discovering the key factors which every farm has; expert interviews for finding attraction factors and checking if the common for all farms features can attract tourists; survey – we ask our potential tourists to array preferences; according to the answers we are making the lists of attraction factors for different groups of tourists.We get different set of factors for different age, sex and family status groups and give recommendation.