Challenges for the agritourism sector in the United States

Regional comparisons of access


  • Weiwei Wang University of Vermont
  • Chadley Richard Hollas Independent Researcher
  • Lisa Chase University of Vermont
  • David Conner University of Vermont
  • Jane Kolodinsky University of Vermont



Agritourism, Challenges, Ordinal Regression, Five Dimensions of Access, Liability, Regulation, E-connectivity, Food System, Rural Tourism, Rural Development


Agritourism has become a popular pursuit for farms and ranches in the United States, aiming to diversify revenue sources and meet agricultural edu­cation and community-building goals. How­ever, there has been limited research around the challenges experienced by operators and limited access to resources that can help address these chal­lenges. This article fills that gap in knowledge by examining the challenges agritourism opera­tions currently face in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West regions of the U.S. In this study, we use a mixed-methods approach to the Five Dimen­sions of Access framework developed by Penchansky and Thomas (1981). We opera­tionalize their model in an ordinal probit regression to analyze data from a national survey of agritourism operators, analyzed by region. Results from the quantitative analysis are sub­stantiated using qualitative, open-ended comments from the same survey. The analyses show that agritourism operators encounter different challenges according to their region. We find that operators in most regions of the United States are concerned about agritourism liability. However, states in the West region experience more chal­lenges with regulations, zoning, and permitting, while operators in the South have more problems with e-connectivity. These results can be applied in three ways: support services for agritourism, policy and regulations, and future research.


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Author Biographies

Weiwei Wang, University of Vermont

Research Project Specialist

Lisa Chase, University of Vermont

Extension Professor

David Conner, University of Vermont


Jane Kolodinsky, University of Vermont




How to Cite

Wang, W., Hollas, C., Chase, L., Conner, D., & Kolodinsky, J. (2022). Challenges for the agritourism sector in the United States: Regional comparisons of access. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 11(4), 61–76.

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