Agritourism and Direct Agricultural Marketing in Washington State: An Industry Profile
The objective of this report is to take stock of the activities, motivations, impacts and challenges faced by the farms in Washington as they relate to agritourism and direct marketing. We characterize the agritourism entrepreneurship and direct marketing activities in different counties of the State through a direct survey of industry respondents. Also, we determine the extent to which Washington’s agritourism and direct marketing industry attracts local and foreign tourists. We find that the direct marketing industry in the State is well established but the agritourism activities are still developing. Most farms that conduct agritourism are small farms (with less than $250,000 of total sales), whereas direct marketing farms vary in size and include some larger farms in terms of sales. The primary reasons for operating are to earn additional income and educate the local populace regarding agricultural and local activities which illustrates economic and altruistic motives for farmers. Respondents feel that the main obstacles to the industry are State laws and regulations and concerns about liability. Farm operators in the industry rely on social networks to enhance production capacity as well as help increase demand for their product or service. Development of social networks may help overcome current and future obstacles of farms leading to overall growth of the industry.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2010|
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