From spectators to active participants: Agritrousim’s transformative experiences
This thesis focused on understanding the impact of agritourism activities on the tourists' experience of the rural landscape, specifically in the IJsselvallei, the Netherlands. The aim was to explore how participating in agritourism activities affects the overall perception of the rural landscape. Growing interest in rural tourism and societal challenges faced by the agricultural sector, provide context for the study's relevance. The theoretical framework of the experience economy, particularly the dimensions of customer participation and connection with the environment, guides the study's exploration. Part of the study were interviews with 13 respondents prior and after agritourism experiences. The study discusses factors contributing to their change in their overall experience of the rural landscape, including interaction with locals, interaction with tourists, knowledge of the rural, sense of the rural, and nature activities. Interaction with farmers emerges as the most crucial factor. Agritourism activities can create transformative experiences, such as changing perceptions or becoming more conscious consumers. The study also highlights agritourism's potential to foster positive connections, address social issues, and provide new business prospects for farmers. Therefore, the most important conclusion is that agritourism transforms tourists from mere spectators to active participants in their activities, the landscape, and the food system.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen