Evaluating operators' attitudes to educational tourism in dairy farms: the case of Japan

Author: Ohe, Yasuo

Source: Tourism Economics, Volume 18, Number 3, June 2012 , pp. 577-595(19)

Publisher: IP Publishing Ltd

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Abstract:

Although the educational function is attracting growing attention as a kind of multifunctionality in agriculture, educational services are not yet provided as a viable farm product. With regard to establishing a viable market for this service, this paper explores how the educational externality could be internalized by focusing on educational dairy farms in Japan. The author evaluates quantitatively the attitudes of operators towards establishing a viable service, as revealed by a questionnaire survey. First, a conceptual framework was devised to express their orientation towards an economically viable service by incorporating a stepwise internalization process of positive externalities with the help of a social learning network. Then, empirically, statistical tests were conducted and factors that determined this orientation, a viable service determinant function, were explored by means of the ordered logit model. The results show that, first, the higher the number of visitors to the farm the more operators are oriented towards a viable service, while no connection with ordinary dairy production is demonstrated. Second, social learning is effective for initiating the internalization process. Third, marketing skills become more important for upgrading the internalization level. Consequently, it is important to create opportunities for those farmers who want to provide consumers with educational services to learn a new role for agriculture and to establish a new income source.
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  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

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