Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2012


Agritourism has been practiced by Nebraskans for many years; it offers an alternative land use

and has a positive economic impact for business owners as well as the local community. The agritourism industry in Nebraska is relatively minor but the unique landscape and traditions allow great potential to for it to grow. Consumer demand for rural nature-based activities remains a largely untapped source of income on the Northern Great Plains’ privately owned grasslands (Schutz). The potential for agritourism to expand and become a large economic incentive for Nebraska is the reason Nebraska was chosen for this study. Agritourism is often considered a broad concept but can be defined as “An alternative enterprise allowing an agriculture operation to earn higher profits by replacing or supplementing traditional agriculture operations with innovative or sustainable resources” (Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism). Nebraska offers a variety of rural tourism approaches, ecotourism: environmentally responsible travel to relatively undisturbed areas to enjoy and appreciate nature and learn about the importance of preserving natural resources, cultural& historical tourism: teaches visitors about local peoples way of life both past and present, and geotourism: sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place being visited. Most rural tourism businesses in Nebraska offer some sort of combination of these different approaches. To simplify the context of the paper, we will combine these types of tourism into the term agritourism.