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Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Tourism: Advantages for the Agri-Food Chain

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 15939

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, 90100 Palermo, Italy
Interests: economy of agrifood systems; marketing of food products; wine marketing; wine tourism; experiential marketing; focus groups; food product quality and consumer perception

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, 90100 Palermo, Italy
Interests: agricultural economics; food products marketing; wine marketing; wine tourism; experiential marketing; multivariate statistical analysis and sampling studies on consumers; focus groups; food product quality and consumer perception; consumer behavior
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
Interests: Mediterranean diet; wine; olive oil; foods; nutrients; phytochemicals; polyphenols; bioactive compounds; lifestyle patterns; sustainable agriculture; wine marketing; wine tourism; sustainable wine tourism and tourist motivation; sustainable agri-food chain; science communication
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Changes in society worldwide are also reflected in agricultural enterprise strategies, which are constantly evolving and may be developed with regard to both the agricultural sector and the tourism sector. In this case, the problem of sustainability in agriculture shifts the focus onto local development processes that strengthen the link between farm and territory. In this context, the role of agricultural enterprises in sustainable development processes has become a topic increasingly observed by researchers of various disciplines because it is connected to rural tourism, an expression of forward-looking entrepreneurship which can play a very important role in the perspective of sustainable development.

Environmental sustainability has acquired increasing importance in the production processes of all economic sectors. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has contemplated major transformative action for the agrifood sector. Sustainability serves to ensure the stability of an ecosystem, and all of us, as consumers, have a fundamental role in determining the stability of the environment. A sustainable consumer can make choices that support sustainable agriculture understood as a set of practices that are responsible for the environment and for peoples.

The agrifood chain has significant impacts on the environment. Current policies directed at both producers and consumers are aimed to improve the efficiency of food resources and to increase consumer awareness. This approach develops the environmental performance of agrifood systems; nevertheless, it must be further implemented to achieve the sustainability objectives of global environmental policies.

The progressive interest in slow tourism—“paths” and “routes” and the growing demand for authenticity and unrepeatability of the tourist experience—are the most appropriate basis for providing value to the principles upon which the heritage of rural territories is based. The design of complex supply systems, that combine the enjoyment of the landscape, the natural environment, and the economic, cultural, and agrifood heritage, can be an impetus for sustainable development, i.e., economic development compatible with the preservation of the environment and free assets for future generations up to the so-called “green economy”. Rural tourism can also contribute to sustainable development by creating new job opportunities and generating added value to the system wherein agriculture, catering, crafts, trade, and tourist services are developed. On the basis of these principles, the research can and must provide new answers for the need to plan the harmonious development of the territory, linking the hills and inland mountains with the coastal territory, including through the promotion of seasonal and delocalized tourism. Ideas can be provided to reformulate strategies of agricultural policy and integrated territorial tourism for the enhancement and promotion of local territories, which are the cradle of agrifood production.

The demand for sustainability in the agrifood system concerns the direct and indirect use of the territory: agritourism, walking trails, social inclusion, but also organic farming and animal welfare. Moreover, today, agriculture is increasingly found at the center of the discussion regarding the role that innovation in agriculture has in significantly contributing to the challenge of environmental sustainability. The agricultural sector, therefore, is increasingly interested in projects related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the production of renewable energy: transformation of solid urban waste into biomethane and compost; wind energy, solar energy, and even the production of hydrogen. Agriculture is therefore being called upon to play an important role in defining new models of development. Innovation has the potential to significantly contribute toward winning the challenge of achieving environmental sustainability, and innovation in agriculture is—and will be—increasingly important.

The objective of this Special Issue is to analyze the role of sustainable agriculture and tourism from the perspective of different research fields, in which an interdisciplinary approach is favored for studying all aspects and providing effective and current answers. The identification of new trends will provide answers for tourist and agrifood chain operators with the aim of implementing territorial actions to support sustainability.

Researchers are invited to submit manuscripts showing how their research results contribute to providing answers to problems that arise from the current global dynamics.

Submissions detailing original, multidisciplinary approaches are especially encouraged.

  • sustainable agriculture;
  • precision farming;
  • sustainable tourism;
  • integrated rural development;
  • sustainable agrifood chain;
  • sustainable agricultural policies;
  • innovation and sustainable development;
  • marketing of sustainable agrifood products,
  • sustainability and consumers behavior;
  • sustainability and tourist motivation.

Prof. Stefania Chironi
Dr. Marzia Ingrassia
Prof. Dr. Paula Silva
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • integrated territorial tourist marketing
  • rural tourism
  • agritourism
  • green tourism
  • agrifood marketing
  • organic farming
  • supply chain
  • sustainable agricultural practice
  • animal care
  • environmental protection
  • sustainable agroengineering
  • clean energy
  • clean productions

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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35 pages, 1306 KiB  
Article
Visitor’s Motivational Framework and Wine Routes’ Contribution to Sustainable Agriculture and Tourism
by Marzia Ingrassia, Luca Altamore, Claudio Bellia, Giuseppe Lo Grasso, Paula Silva, Simona Bacarella, Pietro Columba and Stefania Chironi
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12082; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912082 - 24 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2218
Abstract
Wine Routes develop inside the larger context of wine tourism (WT), which is increasingly important for rural communities. Italy is one of the most important countries in the world for wine production and tourism. Sicily is one of the leading regions in Italy [...] Read more.
Wine Routes develop inside the larger context of wine tourism (WT), which is increasingly important for rural communities. Italy is one of the most important countries in the world for wine production and tourism. Sicily is one of the leading regions in Italy for wine production and wine tourists. This study focuses on the Sicilian wine routes (SWRs) and gives an excursus of their development during the last ten years, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, the study wants to make an attempt to bridge the existing gap in the literature and highlight the nature and extent of the contribution of the SWR to the development of the WT ‘product’ from the perspective of the increasingly booming sustainable–rural tourism. Face-to-face interviews were conducted along the SWRs with 283 wine tourists, 65 wine enterprises, and eight expert stakeholders. The motivations for tourists to visit the first time and their intention to return were investigated by the explorative factor analysis. Moreover, the wine tourist profile was highlighted. Findings outline some specific features of the general experience economy model where visitors’ emotional involvement and local cooperation appear crucial for the integrated territorial development of the backward rural areas of wine regions in different parts of the world. Managerial implications of findings are discussed. Full article
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12 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Agritourism as an Alternative On-Farm Enterprise for Small U.S. Farms: Examining Factors Influencing the Agritourism Decisions of Small Farms
by Reginald Holland, Aditya R. Khanal and Purushottam Dhungana
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4055; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074055 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3045
Abstract
This study examines the adoption of agritourism by small farms in the U.S. Using primary survey data collected from small farms in Tennessee in 2020, we assessed adopter characteristics and investigated the factors influencing the farmers’ decision to adopt or add agritourism-related activities, [...] Read more.
This study examines the adoption of agritourism by small farms in the U.S. Using primary survey data collected from small farms in Tennessee in 2020, we assessed adopter characteristics and investigated the factors influencing the farmers’ decision to adopt or add agritourism-related activities, including recreational, educational, and touristic attractions in the farm. We found that factors such as social media marketing, smartphone use in farm activities, and having farm insurance significantly increased the likelihood of agritourism adoption in addition to other demographic factors. Additionally, we found that a farmer’s perceived survival risk positively influences small farms to adopt agritourism. Small farms with survival challenges in the U.S. could consider agritourism as an enterprise to enhance their economic sustainability by utilizing touristic aspects of farming, rural landscape, and agriculture. Full article
22 pages, 2536 KiB  
Article
Food and Religion in Sicily—A New Green Tourist Destination by an Ancient Route from the Past
by Claudio Bellia, Valeria Scavone and Marzia Ingrassia
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6686; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13126686 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3230
Abstract
The Francigena Way (Via Francigena) is a long international itinerary that was awarded recognition as a Culture Route of the Council of Europe. It starts in Canterbury (UK), touches 13 European regions and ends in Rome. An ancient track of this [...] Read more.
The Francigena Way (Via Francigena) is a long international itinerary that was awarded recognition as a Culture Route of the Council of Europe. It starts in Canterbury (UK), touches 13 European regions and ends in Rome. An ancient track of this route is in Sicily (Southern Italy), and its name is Magna Via Francigena (Great Francigena Way). This track is a pilgrimage route that connects two ancient port cities, Palermo and Agrigento, passing through internal rural territories that now deal with the exodus of population from rural to urban areas. The route passes through the Sicilian territory named “Upper-Belìce corleonese”, a rural area around the city of Corleone (a little village known worldwide for the sad Mafia events) that includes a number of municipalities. In the past, this religious pilgrimage was a fundamental part of the expression of faith for Christians and now still represents for Sicilians a strong symbol of Christian identity. In recent decades, pilgrimage tourism around the world has grown significantly each year. The aim of the study is to know the pilgrims’ motivations for choosing the Magna Via Francigena pilgrimage as a vacation and any possible similarities between pilgrimage tourism and food and wine tourism, in the wider context of sustainable and slow tourism. The Policy Delphi method was applied to collect the opinions of the stakeholders involved. The study highlighted the strong link between religious motivations and local enogastronomy, culture, art and nature. Results will support policy-making in the development of integrated territorial tourist marketing strategies. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 945 KiB  
Review
Sustainable Development Directions for Wine Tourism in Douro Wine Region, Portugal
by Ana Trigo and Paula Silva
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 3949; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073949 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5481
Abstract
Despite sustainable wine tourism being one of the hottest topics of the moment, there is still a considerable knowledge gap. If managed with due care and consideration of the region’s carrying capacity, wine tourism can be an essential regional development tool for improving [...] Read more.
Despite sustainable wine tourism being one of the hottest topics of the moment, there is still a considerable knowledge gap. If managed with due care and consideration of the region’s carrying capacity, wine tourism can be an essential regional development tool for improving business performance, environmental awareness, and community values. On the other hand, it can be responsible for negative environmental impacts, creating local resentment. This paper explored and contextualized wine tourism and sustainable winegrowing practices in the Portuguese Douro wine region. The aim was to offer practical recommendations and directives for such a unique landscape. From the adoption of regenerative agriculture and natural-based solutions at the field level to engaging in sustainability wine programs or certification schemes integrating both sectors, it is indispensable to develop frameworks to assess sustainability performance, tourism development, and the impact on the local population. Nevertheless, to accomplish business success and territorial development, a win–win relationship between all stakeholders is foremost needed. The Douro region must therefore start by investing in stronger collaboration networks between local actors through careful and integrated planning so that the needs of all interested parties, including its residents, are considered and incorporated in future sustainable tourism initiatives. Full article
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