Agritourism Farms and the Web. An Exploratory Evaluation of their Websites
No 3/2014, September
In the last few years, the contribution of the agricultural sector to tourism has been increasingly evident. Agritourism provides the possibility to have a green holiday experience and allows farmers to diversify their income. In the tourist sector, communication is decisive in determining consumption choices, and the Web plays an important role. Considering that the Internet can bring potential benefits and reach new customers, it is important that websites are complete and attractive. This paper evaluates agritourism websites in an Italian region (Sicily) to analyse the strategic choices made by farmers. This study uses the eMICA methodological approach to analyse the quality of the websites and a cluster analysis to find homogeneous groups of farms. The results indicate that there is a large group of Sicilian agritourism providers that have been slow in taking advantage of the new opportunities offered by the Web, whereas another group, which is less numerous, makes use of social networking tools, demonstrating web 2.0 communication.
Agritourism, websites, eMICA model, cluster analysis.