Using the Data Envelopment Analysis to Measure and Benchmark the Efficiency of Small-scale Tourism Farms in South Korea

Hyungsuk Choo, Young-Hyo Ahn, Duk-Byeong Park


Although economic viability and low productivity of small-scale tourism farms have been a major concern, there is no information on the economic analysis, including efficiency, of this sector. This exploratory case study aims to demonstrate the value of Data Envelopment Analysis for assessing and benchmarking the efficiency of small-scale tourism farms. Using the case study of 196 small-scale tourism farms in South Korea, the result of analysis indicates that the technical efficiency score is equal to 39.3% and the mean output increase amounting to 60.7%. Most tourism farms (76.0%, 149) were found to be inefficient, indicating an efficiency score lower than .5. The dominant source of inefficiency was found to result from pure technical efficiency involving managerial skills while the scale efficiency of Korean tourism farms has reached a certain level. Implications for farm tourism operators and researchers and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: tourism farms; agritourism; efficiency; data envelopment analysis (DEA)

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.