Demographic characteristics and motivations of Michigan agritourists

Document Type


Publication details

Che, D, Veeck, A & Veeck, G 2006, 'Demographic characteristics and motivations of Michigan agritourists', Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium, Bolton Landing, New York, 9 -11 April, United States Department of Agriculture, USA, pp. 98-103.


Michigan agricultural producers, faced with declining commodity prices, rising production costs, and increased global competition, have looked at agritourism as a way to save the farm as well as provide customers with personalized service; high-quality, fresh food; and farm, nature, and family experiences. While previous research on agritourism indicates that it taps into consumption-related trends in American society, this research importantly assesses who patronizes Michigan agritourism operations and what brings them on-site. This paper reports our survey findings on such visitor demographic characteristics and consumption decisions. Survey results indicated the family and broader market appeal of agritourism among households with annual incomes exceeding $30,000, the importance of local and return visitors, and the draw of purchasing/picking fresh, local produce. This paper also suggests ways to attract new, regional visitors and underrepresented age groups and to raise awareness about Michigan’s agritourism destinations as sources of fresh, Michigan agricultural products.