A qualitative study of visitors to small-scale farms on a tropical Island.

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    • Abstract:
      Although agritourism has received increasing attention among tourism researchers, few studies have focused on the phenomenon as it exists on tropical islands. This article helps to fill this research gap. Participant observations of, and semi-structured interviews with, visitors to farms on the Hawaiian island of Oahu revealed that visitors gained a better understanding of the nature and challenges of farming. Most visitors resided in the areas surrounding the farms and sought to draw closer to the land and better understand the local food system. Non-local visitors on group tours were mostly non-English speakers; non-local visitors not on group tours were mostly repeat visitors to Hawaii seeking new and authentic experiences. All visitors ascribed significant value to tasting produce grown on the farm. Visitor activities ranged broadly from strolling the farm to volunteering and/or engaging in farm-stays. These results corroborated those of other inquiries in revealing a symbiotic relationship between hosts and guests on farms: farmers helped visitors better understand farm resources, agricultural practices, local food products, and the challenges of farming; in return, visitors provided farmers with moral support, labour, and sales revenue. Recommendations are advanced for improved marketing of farm tourism on tropical islands. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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