A Demand-driven Success Factor Analysis for Agritourism in Switzerland

Mario Huber, Pius Hofstetter, Andreas Hochuli

Abstract


This article aims to define categories of tourists’ motivations for visiting an agritourism farm. It also analyses the difference in motivation between potential customers and actual customers who have already been on an agritourism farm. Survey data from a total of 780 respondents (647 potential customers and 133 actual customers of agritourism facilities) were collected using a standardized questionnaire. The data was factor analysed (using PCA), and seven factors were identified: (1) comfort and consumption, (2) rural life, (3) accessibility to nature, (3) fun and relaxation on the farm, (4) regional products, (5) simple accommodation, and (6) culinary offers. The factors with most importance relate to the accessibility to nature as well as the possibility to buy regional food. The means of the factors were calculated for both respondent groups and compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. This test shows that the two groups "potential customers" and "effective customers on the farm" differ significantly only in the two characteristics of consumer behavior and comfort of accommodation. All other factors were either significantly less important or showed no differences for customers of agritourism farms. The results have implications for the communication process of agritourism farms or destination marketing organizations (DMOs), namely that the focus on comfort and consumption should be increased as a customer’s decision comes closer to definitive booking.

Keywords: agritourism, success factors, factor analysis, consumer choice, accommodation facilities

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

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