Operators’ Attitudes On Educational Tourism In Agriculture
Free (open access)
273 - 286
This paper focused on the educational function in agriculture in relation to educational tourism in agriculture. An understanding of the educational function of agriculture can provide evidence to support educational tourism in agriculture, which is now attracting growing attention. This attention is an outgrowth of the rapid change in modern society that has taken people away from their traditional connections with their agrarian heritage and food production. Despite the mounting expectations with regard to the educational function of agriculture, this function has not been fully explored empirically. The author considers this educational function as a new role that agriculture can play in society in addition to the traditional role of food production; therefore it should be clarified from an empirical aspect. First, as a demand side examination, we briefly characterized the educational tourism conducted in elementary and junior high schools in Japan by focusing on school trip programs. Second, as a supply-side examination, this paper examined empirically how the educational function has been practiced in Japan by focusing on the Educational Dairy Farm program. Results of a questionnaire survey conducted by the author showed that operators of the Educational Dairy Farms gained satisfaction from their educational activities that allowed children and urbanites to learn of the close connection between food and life, which is often forgotten in the busy modern society. Further, the educational function in agriculture provides opportunities not only for visitors, but also for the operators themselves to experience this new role of agriculture with a sense of satisfaction and local pride. Nevertheless, these educational services have not yet become economically viable. Therefore, cohesive local support measures should be taken to raise social recognition of educational tourism in agriculture. Keywords: educational tourism, educational function in agriculture, school trip, Educational Dairy Farm, farm experience services.
educational tourism, educational function in agriculture, school trip, Educational Dairy Farm, farm experience services.