Title of Paper

Strategies for Increasing Resilience in Tourism Operations: Lessons from Agritourism

Author Bios (50 Words for each Author)

Sara Brune is a Research Associate in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Her research interests focus on the power of tourism experiences to instigate desirable behaviors and its intersection with inclusive sustainable development.

Whitney Knollenberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on tourism leadership and the influence of policy, planning, and partnerships in sustainable tourism development.

Kathryn Stevenson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on children and nature, including identifying drivers of environmental literacy and understanding mechanisms of intergenerational learning.

Caitlin Reilly is an M.S. student in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Her research centers on broadening agricultural and environmental literacy through place-based, experiential learning among children.

Carla Barbieri is a Professor in 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.

Olivia Vilá is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at NC State University whose work focuses on social dimensions of sudden- and slow-onset hazards and disasters. Through her doctoral research, she seeks to inform and rework decision-making procedures associated with recovery, mitigation, and resilience.

Abstract (150 Words)

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resiliency of tourism operations across the globe. In the state of North Carolina (NC; USA), stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements have forced tourism operations to drastically alter their service delivery. This includes agritourism – visiting a working farm for education or recreation. This presentation outlines the lessons learned from NC’s agritourism operators’ resilience in the face of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We build upon two studies: in Study 1 we conducted before and after surveys with agritourism visitors and in Study 2, we conducted interviews with agritourism operators during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work illustrates: (1) that agritourism operators encourage local food advocacy in visitors through agritourism experiences and (2) that agritourism’s diversified practices (e.g., local food outlets) allowed agritourism operators to remain operational and generating revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, which ultimately contributed to their adaptive capacity and resilience.

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Strategies for Increasing Resilience in Tourism Operations: Lessons from Agritourism

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resiliency of tourism operations across the globe. In the state of North Carolina (NC; USA), stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements have forced tourism operations to drastically alter their service delivery. This includes agritourism – visiting a working farm for education or recreation. This presentation outlines the lessons learned from NC’s agritourism operators’ resilience in the face of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We build upon two studies: in Study 1 we conducted before and after surveys with agritourism visitors and in Study 2, we conducted interviews with agritourism operators during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work illustrates: (1) that agritourism operators encourage local food advocacy in visitors through agritourism experiences and (2) that agritourism’s diversified practices (e.g., local food outlets) allowed agritourism operators to remain operational and generating revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, which ultimately contributed to their adaptive capacity and resilience.