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Open Agriculture

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Agriculture and tourism sector linkages: Global relevance and local evidence for the case of South Tyrol

Christian Fischer
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Universitätsplatz 5 piazza Università, I-39100 Bozen-Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy
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Published Online: 2019-10-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2019-0053


The promotion of agritourism, i.e., commercial encounters between farmers and non-local visitors, is seen as a vital development option to stabilise economic decline in rural areas. In addition to agritourism, this article analyses the various transactional linkages between the agriculture and tourism sectors. The theory part discusses earlier literature and also covers modern types of farmer-tourist interactions such as on-farm education and training activities. The empirical analysis provides a complete monetary quantification of the various sector linkages for the case of South Tyrol, a north Italian province with significant agricultural and tourism sectors. By using provincial input-output table data from 2011 and combining them with additional agricultural trade numbers, a complete sectoral interlinkage picture is constructed. The results show that while farmer income from tourism is significant, the money earned by exports of agricultural products to tourist source countries is more than double as much. Tourists’ farm overnight stays contribute to about 10% of total farm incomes. Moreover, the results show that agritourism activity and physical farm output are inversely related to each other. A thorough policy assessment of agritourism must differentiate between its farm income effects and its potential counterproductive consequences for global food security and local food supply.

Keywords: agritourism; agricultural trade; economics; input-output table; Italy


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About the article

Received: 2019-04-16

Accepted: 2019-08-10

Published Online: 2019-10-05

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 544–553, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2019-0053.

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© 2019 Christian Fischer, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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