Presenter Bios

Mirza Halim is currently pursuing MS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Her thesis research focuses on women in agritourism in North Carolina, USA. She is interested in issues pertaining to diversification strategies of agricultural households, changing family dynamics in rural communities and sustainable development.

Morais examines how tourism is used by elites to sustain long-standing hegemony, and how it is used by subaltern people to regain self-determination. Morais is the lead in(ve)stigator of People-First Tourism Lab; a long-term glocal action research program focused on enabling tourism microentrepreneurship among individuals with vulnerable livelihoods.

Carla Barbieri is an Associate Professor in Equitable and Sustainable Tourism (North Carolina State University, USA) where she leads the “Agritourism & Societal Wellbeing” lab. She investigates the economic, socio-cultural, and environmental impacts of agritourism at the farm household and society levels. She also studies the sustainability of niche tourism.

Susan Jakes is the Associate State Program Leader for Community and Rural Development for NCSU. She received her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from NCSU. She works with extension specialists and agents across the state to build community capacity to lead change in agriculture, food, and youth development.

Dr. Kelly Zering is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at NC State University. Zering has worked for over 30 years in extension and research on the economics of farm and enterprise management, markets, finance and risk management in North Carolina.

Abstract

Finding themselves in today’s rapidly changing economic landscape, farmers are compelled to seek supplementary income generating activities such as agritourism. Women have been identified as the primary driver of a variety of agritourism activities with significant contribution toward its development and maintenance. In spite of their contribution, women tend to earn less in agritourism compared to their male counterparts. However, no research thus far has looked at the specific challenges faced by women in agritourism. We conducted a study in North Carolina using qualitative techniques (i.e. focus group, nominal group technique, and in-depth interviews). Our results identify a number of new challenges; these are: lacking reliable staff, managing growth, lacking institutional support, ensuring farm perpetuation, being pluriactive, and constantly facing new challenges. We also found support for challenges existing in the literature, namely, lacking resources, lacking credibility as farmers and juggling traditional roles.

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Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs Involved in Agritourism

Finding themselves in today’s rapidly changing economic landscape, farmers are compelled to seek supplementary income generating activities such as agritourism. Women have been identified as the primary driver of a variety of agritourism activities with significant contribution toward its development and maintenance. In spite of their contribution, women tend to earn less in agritourism compared to their male counterparts. However, no research thus far has looked at the specific challenges faced by women in agritourism. We conducted a study in North Carolina using qualitative techniques (i.e. focus group, nominal group technique, and in-depth interviews). Our results identify a number of new challenges; these are: lacking reliable staff, managing growth, lacking institutional support, ensuring farm perpetuation, being pluriactive, and constantly facing new challenges. We also found support for challenges existing in the literature, namely, lacking resources, lacking credibility as farmers and juggling traditional roles.