In many regions of the world, demand for agritourism on working farms has led to rapid increases in this form of tourism, however, its current status in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is not well understood and confusion about this concept, its benefits and challenges may limit this sector’s potential to flourish over time. In search for alternative sources of income to compensate for the decline in purely agricultural incomes, agri-businesses in the developed world have increasingly diversified into tourism.
However, such entrepreneurship ventures are scarce in SIDS and limited scholarly work has been conducted on this topic. A qualitative study was used to capture SMEs perceptions of agritourism development in Mauritius. The findings reveal that only a few SMEs are aware of the concept of agritourism and have started agritourism activities in an informal way. The respondents expressed that there are several benefits to diversify into agritourist and highlighted some major difficulties faced in its implementation. The study reveals that agritourism in Mauritius is still in its infancy and has not yet gained the attention of policy makers despite its potential to enhance destination competitiveness and provide the destination with added value in terms of the development of new forms of tourism. The argument is not to replace the existing “Sun, Sand and Sea Tourism” but to extend the portfolio of tourism activities to cater for the diverse needs of the tourism industry while engaging the SMEs in tourism development which can assist in achieving broader sustainable development goals such as reducing poverty and enhancing quality of life of locals.
Download Full Report