Farm Tourism: A Question of Gender and Competence
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Original versionJournal of Agricultural Science and Technology: B 2011, 1(6):896-905
This article focuses on farm-tourist hosts and who they are in terms of education and competence. Gender is a central variable in the analysis. The analysis is based on an on-line survey of 448 farm tourist businesses conducted in spring 2009. In addition, a sample of women and men hosts on 19 farm tourism enterprises is interviewed. Women are more likely to be managers of farm tourism businesses, and have higher levels of formal education than men. Men are more likely to have vocational education, local attachment and competence obtained by growing up on a farm. Level of education does not have any significant impact on turnover, profitability and expected profit. As the businesses are small-scale and developed from the farms’ material resources, the competence required is the ability to transform the farm resources into a tourist product. This competence might be achieved not only through formal educational, but also through previous work experiences, courses, networks, advisory services and daily experience. Interviews show that the hosts refer to their vocational backgrounds as important and relevant, and they refer to their practically obtained competence rather than to their educational backgrounds.