Retired Baby Boomers As Operators Of Sustainable Rural Tourism: The Roles And Significance
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This paper examined the roles and significance of rural tourism activity undertaken by those farmers retired from non-farming jobs from a multifunctional perspective in Chiba. The results revealed that rural tourism realised efficient and sustainable resource utilisation of the farm. The main findings were: 1) the farming style of the study farm is small production of multiple products all year round, which increases opportunities for farming and farm-life experiences by local school children and urban visitors, although this type of farming was not respected from a productivity-oriented farming perspective; and 2) providing farming experience services not only makes it possible to utilise unused resources in the farmyard, but also promotes multifunctionality in terms of recreational, educational and land preservation functions. These results suggest that rural tourism will be an effective and recommended activity for those farm-oriented people retired from non-farming occupations. Keywords: rural tourism, multifunctionality of agriculture, baby boomers, retiree farming, educational function, rural resources. 1 Introduction The expected increase in the retired baby-boomer generation has been attracting growing concern in terms of its impact on society. Recently, the number of those baby boomers who have been engaged in non-farming occupations but who start or return to farming after retirement has been increasing in the recent decade in Japan. We called them \“retiree newcomers” here. One reason for this increase is apparently due to the prolonged stagnant macro economy in Japan since the
rural tourism, multifunctionality of agriculture, baby boomers,retiree farming, educational function, rural resources.