The tourism industry has experienced massive diversification over the recent years. Many tourists are no longer satisfied with exploring and experiencing the general tourist attractions in Ghana. Rural tourism has been a key trend in the tourism industry, and one of its major segments is agritourism. Agritourism is a key trend in tourism that motivates many people to explore many regions in Ghana, benefiting those areas. The rural communities benefit from agritourism in many ways.
Agritourism offers several opportunities for rural communities. Agritourism greatly depends on weather patterns, market factors influencing the pricing of agricultural produce, and cropping patterns due to climate change and global warming, among other factors. The agritourism industry also helps developing regions in Ghana raise their economic profile. Apart from increasing the quality of education and assisting in the eventual diversification of labor, agritourism also helps the general development of many rural regions in Ghana.
The growing adoption of agritourism by more regions in Ghana and rural communities is inevitable. There is fragmentation of rural tourism, such as farm agritourism, where tourists visit farms that grow grapes, spices, and other cash crops, and ranch agritourism, where farm animals are the primary attraction. Statistics indicate that the number of tourists visiting Ghana for Agricultural purposes has grown during the last few years. Cocoa is one of the farm products that attracts many people to Ghana.
Agritourism specifically targets the agricultural aspects of a rural tourist destination. In contrast, rural tourism includes cultural and social aspects of rural life, such as a particular community’s local arts, heritage, music, and cuisine. The agritourism sector has been able to grow into a key source of revenue in Ghana. Despite the strong interdependency between the rural and agritourism industries, agrotourism revenue is generated separately.
Agritourism revenue is the main source of income for rural communities that have invested in agritourism. The residents can now sell their products without relying on the traditional agricultural produce markets. Before the establishment of agritourism, local farmers were forced to sell their produce at market-dictated prices that they had no control over. Today, certain agritourism enterprises have been established, and they compete with established food processing companies. Agrotourism enterprises are known for their products’ reduced chemical content and environment friendliness.
Agritourism enterprises create employment for the local community and durable supply chains for those regions. Local employment generated from agritourism can benefit the local population as well as countries at large by reducing rural-urban migration. Agriculture is seasonal, with sowing and harvesting being the most labor-intensive periods. In most cases, revenue earned through farmers’ status as migrant laborers has become important to many people in rural areas.
Agritourism has led to infrastructural and social development in many regions, benefiting people there. The agritourism industry can improve regional status by providing the necessary financial fillip to build the required education infrastructure and enhance instructor capability. Additionally, agritourism guarantees children first-hand exposure to different cultures, people, belief systems, and ways of life.
The agritourism industry increases social cohesion in rural communities. When different people in a village or community work together in the overall rural tourism industry, they contribute more income to their region. Bringing people together can help bridge divides that are often found in multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural communities and reduce inherent animosity.
Besides, women empowerment also benefits from rural tourism and agritourism because women are often at the forefront of rural activities. During ancient times, women could not use this to their advantage since the rural economy depended on the community’s interactions outside their villages. The economic movement coming from within villages allows women to have the advantage of working from their comfort zones.