WAC2024 - 2° World Agritourism Congress
Agritourism is more!
- Date: 16-18.05.2024
- Place: Eurac Research HQ, Viale Druso 1, 39100 Bolzano (BZ)
Link to the event's website.
Agritourism is more!
For the second time, the World Congress on Agritourism acts as an international platform for scientists, practitioners, associations, stakeholders, businesses, and other actors. The aim is to discuss the state-of-the-art, challenges, opportunities, and limitations of agritourism as well as future development perspectives of this kind of tourism in rural areas worldwide. The overarching question is: What do we have to do to make agritourism a successful and sustainable type of tourism in rural areas. The 2024 edition is specifically dedicated to the agritourism´s contribution to sustainable development and/or challenges linked to its achievement on and off the farm. Agritourism represents a significant organisational and operational change of the farm´s management, economy and living environment. Which practices enable a sustainable management? How to keep a reasonable interactive balance between touristic and agricultural activities? What about new approaches such as regenerative agritourism? The congress wants to explore the social, economic, and environmental transformations for the farm and its environment when offering agritourism. We also assume that Agritourism is more than experiencing agricultural products, farm life and overnight stays in farm buildings. It represents a unique cultural and interactive experience, an asset for keeping rural areas vital and maintain agricultural practices and small structured cultural landscapes. But does this represent the reality? What works, what rather doesn’t? With whom do agritourism establishments cooperate? Are they well integrated in community life? Who are the target groups, and do they change? We look behind the scenes and discuss different perspectives that go beyond farm gates.
The second edition will focus on the following main themes:
T1 - Social Sustainability
Agritourism poses great challenges for the host family. Family and daily obligations have to be reconciled with those for agriculture and the guests to be looked after. Furthermore, contacts in the communities, to neighbouring farms and beyond must be maintained. All this requires great communicative, training/ educative, and interactive skills to run an agritourism business in a socially sustainable way.
T2 - Economic sustainability
In many cases, agritourism is a lucrative additional income opportunity directly on the farm. To ensure that agricultural activity is not reduced in favour of tourism, a complementary balance must be created between the two sectors. Against the background of volatile agricultural incomes, tourism-infrastructural investments for a competitive offer have to be carried out according to considerations of resilient, sustainable development, whereby investments in a sustainable energy supply are becoming increasingly important.
T3 - Environmental sustainability
New, promising developments such as regenerative agritourism, agritourism on an ecologically managed or energy self-sufficient farm and farms with health and therapy offers, among others, can be observed. What are the characteristics of these offers, what are their success factors and target groups, but also challenges?
T4 - Overarching topics & issues of general interest
In many countries agritourism is a fast-growing sector. In others it represents a relatively new type of tourism in rural areas that lacks legal provisions and standards. A definition on international level does not exist; too different are the diverging conditions on local, regional, and national level. However, we may define some common values which are strongly linked to farming and an authentic interaction between guest and host agritourism stands for. To better promote and valorise these features we may need more appealing narratives and storytelling as well as well-functioning supportive structures such as the Global Agritourism Network (GAN).
T5 - Agritourism worldwide - Poster & Infographic Session
The poster & infographic session will be dedicated to the current situation (data and facts) in single countries or world regions and continents: what is the state of the art (e.g. key stakeholders, associations, public support)? What data (e.g. number of businesses) is there regarding agritourism in your country? What are the main challenges/problems (as precise as possible)? What laws/legislation or guiding legal frameworks do exist? The aim is to have a very brief overview of the agritourism sector in the world.
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