Procedure for the design of agrotouristic products

Cooperativismo y Desarrollo, May-August 2020; 8(2), 166-182
Translated from the original in Spanish

 

Procedure for the design of agrotouristic products

 

Procedimiento para el diseño de productos agroturísticos

 

Procedimento para o design de produtos agroturísticos

 

Susana Lilia Sánchez Sosa1, Jorge Freddy Ramírez Pérez2, Iverilys Pérez Hernández3

1 Oficina para el Desarrollo Integral de Guanahacabibes. Pinar del Río. Cuba. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3680-2606. Email: contabilidad@odig.cu
2 Universidad de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales. Centro de Estudios de Dirección, Desarrollo Local, Turismo y Cooperativismo. Pinar del Río. Cuba. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7891-2016. Email: freddy@upr.edu.cu
3 Universidad de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales. Centro de Estudios de Dirección, Desarrollo Local, Turismo y Cooperativismo. Pinar del Río. Cuba. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2124-0962. Email: iverilys@upr.edu.cu

 

Received: March 9th, 2020.
Accepted: April 20th, 2020.


ABSTRACT

The need to diversify tourist activities and offers has led to the appearance of new tourist modalities, among which agrotourism emerges as one of the most singular, as it facilitates tourists to have interactive and cognitive experiences about life traditions in the rural world. The general objective of this research is to create a procedure for the design of an agrotourism product in the province of Pinar del Río, specifically in the peninsula of Guanahacabibes, focused on its rural area, which will allow the use of the natural, historical-cultural and agricultural resources existing in the area. All of this will be supported by the country's tourism development objectives and the growing demand for this type of tourism. A procedure with a logical sequence is presented where the bases for the development of agrotourism are established, which will facilitate the development of the research with the participation of fundamental actors of the region; in the first instance, the methods were determined, as well as the primary and secondary sources to be used as an initial and preparatory process, which made it possible to obtain the results of the research. A characterization of the study area was prepared and a diagnosis of the current particularities of tourism in the area was obtained, as well as the identification of tourist attractions based on interviews and a workshop. Results were obtained where it was established that the creation of an agrotourism product in the area was indeed necessary.

Keywords: agrotourism; tourist attractions; agrotouristic development


RESUMEN

La necesidad de diversificar las actividades y ofertas turísticas ha conducido a la aparición de nuevas modalidades turísticas, entre las que el agroturismo emerge como una de las más singulares, por facilitar que los turistas tengan experiencias interactivas y cognitivas acerca de las tradiciones de vida en el mundo rural. La presente investigación tiene como objetivo general elaborar un procedimiento para el diseño de un producto agroturístico en la provincia de Pinar del Río, específicamente en la península de Guanahacabibes, centrado en su zona rural, que permitirá el aprovechamiento de los recursos naturales, históricos-culturales y agrícolas existentes en el área. Todo esto estará apoyado en los objetivos de desarrollo turístico del país y en la demanda creciente de esta modalidad turística. Se presenta un procedimiento con una secuencia lógica donde se establecen las bases para el desarrollo del agroturismo, lo cual facilitará el desarrollo de la investigación con la participación de actores fundamentales de la región; en primera instancia, se determinaron los métodos, así como las fuentes primarias y secundarias a emplear como proceso inicial y preparatorio, que posibilitaron la obtención de resultados de la investigación. Se elaboró la caracterización del área de estudio y se obtuvo un diagnóstico de las particularidades actuales del turismo en el área, así como la identificación de atractivos turísticos a partir de entrevistas y un taller. Se llegaron a resultados donde se estableció que sí era necesaria la elaboración de un producto agroturístico en el área.

Palabras clave: agroturismo; atractivos turísticos; desarrollo agroturístico


RESUMO

A necessidade de diversificar as atividades e ofertas turísticas tem levado ao surgimento de novas modalidades turísticas, entre as quais o agroturismo surge como uma das mais singulares, pois facilita ao turista ter experiências interativas e cognitivas sobre as tradições de vida no mundo rural. O objetivo geral desta pesquisa é elaborar um procedimento para o desenho de um produto agroturístico na província de Pinar del Río, especificamente na península de Guanahacabibes, com foco em sua área rural, o que permitirá o uso dos recursos naturais, histórico-culturais e agrícolas existentes na área. Tudo isso será sustentado pelos objetivos de desenvolvimento turístico do país e pela crescente demanda por esse tipo de turismo. É apresentado um procedimento com sequência lógica onde são estabelecidas as bases para o desenvolvimento do agroturismo, o que facilitará o desenvolvimento da pesquisa com a participação de atores fundamentais da região; em primeira instância, foram determinados os métodos, bem como as fontes primárias e secundárias a serem utilizadas como processo inicial e preparatório, o que possibilitou a obtenção dos resultados da pesquisa. Foi elaborada uma caracterização da área de estudo e obtido um diagnóstico das particularidades atuais do turismo na área, bem como a identificação dos atrativos turísticos com base em entrevistas e um treino de trabalho. Foram obtidos resultados onde ficou estabelecido que a elaboração de um produto agro-turístico na área era de fato necessária.

Palavras-chave: agroturismo; atrações turísticas; desenvolvimento do agroturismo


 

INTRODUCTION

Tourism is considered as a way to access the culture and ways of life in the different destinations. In this sense, it is no less true that all types of tourism have a cultural component and that people would refrain from travelling if there were not something different to see. The need to know, share and live an experience generates tourist flows in response to unequal and irregular geographical distributions, which condition tourist location based on the offer, architectural and museum wealth, customs and lifestyles.

One of the tourism modalities that justifies this diversification and participation is agrotourism, an activity that allows the client not only to exchange with the members of rural communities, but also to participate in agricultural processes and even to consume part of the planted crops. This form of tourism allows the agrotourist to build his own experience from the existing potentialities and the link with agricultural production modes. It also has the possibility of having very low seasonality, since the seasons and crop rotation allow it to be active almost all year round.

The main tourist product of the Guanahacabibes peninsula, Pinar del Río province, is its nature, which, together with the isolation and singularity, combines a series of values that give it a special character. Its beaches, its well preserved vegetation and fauna, the high number of caves, many of them reported as archaeological sites of considerable magnitude, the cultural values impregnated in the territory, the idiosyncrasy of its inhabitants, as well as an environment little impacted by man, give this site ample potential for the practice of nature tourism as a modality to be exploited.

Taking into account the potential of the Guanahacabibes peninsula for the practice of other tourism modalities, this research aims to evaluate the tourism resources linked to traditional human activities in this region, which can be considered as attractive, in particular, related to the sub-modality of agrotourism, and organized in tourism products and finally in offers, in view of a market that is growing in significant proportions.

According to Ramírez and Pérez (2014), agrotourism is a specific tourism sub-modality of rural tourism, which takes place in agro-livestock facilities, farms, cooperatives or estates, where the visitor's motivation is focused on agricultural and livestock practices, with the knowledge and enjoyment of cultural traditions linked to agriculture. To this, food and lodging services are added, all of which provide additional income to the farmer.

The attractions constitute the main component of the agrotouristic product because it determines the choice of the destination that the tourist makes. Facilities include the offer of lodging, food and beverages, entertainment activities, travel agencies, car rental or tourist information centers. Accessibility includes access routes and means of transport in the territory. This concept of the product expressed by Blanco and Riveros (2011) is from a general perspective of a destination, but there are also specific products, such as the one offered by an economic unit of agrotourism.

Touristic development in Guanahacabibes, and thus agrotourism, must be based on sustainability criteria, that is, it must be ecologically bearable in the long term, economically viable, and equitable from an ethical and social perspective for the local communities. Good tourism management requires the sustainability of the resources on which it depends, including the environment, which highlights the need for responsible agrotourism practice.

In the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, there are 25 farms dedicated to agriculture, forestry, various crops and fruit trees, some of them located in the biosphere reserve area, where only the visit to the trails around some of the areas is exploited as a tourist destination, but as an agrotourism product it is not conceived in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula.

In summary, the general objective of this research is to create a procedure for the design of agrotouristic products in the province of Pinar del Río, specifically in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, which will allow the exploitation of the natural, historical-cultural and agricultural resources existing in the area, which will contribute to the diversification of the tourist offering in this destination and a way to provide an additional income to the local economy. All of this is in line with the country's tourism development objectives and the growing demand for this type of tourism.

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Methods such as the historical one were used to determine the evolution and growth of tourism in the Guanahacabibes peninsula, as well as the consequences that determined its evolution. The logical methods that were analyzed were the dialectic and the systemic ones. The dialectic made it possible to determine the insufficiency of lodging capacities and infrastructure necessary for the demand of tourism of all kinds, so the proposal of agrotourism is a viable solution without high risk of environmental impacts, which allows the tourist a more direct contact and harmony with the peasant culture, history and nature. With this, a philosophical category is established between the insufficient housing capacity and the influx of tourism in the area, fundamentally in high season. Within the logical methods, the systemic one was used, which allowed to establish the bases for the methodological proposal of tourist establishments; in the same way the analysis and synthesis for the separation of the object's operation in its components. The empirical methods used were observation, especially in relation to the field survey of agrotourism attractions and those that complement them.

For the process of characterizing the study area, the sources of information, both secondary and primary, were determined. With respect to the former, a bibliographic review was made, including theses related to the area of study, population and housing censuses from 1970 to 2017, ordinance plans, data from the Municipal Statistics Office of Sandino and the Provincial Physical Planning Office; all with the objective of establishing the need and justification for the presence of agrotourism in the area.

Likewise, the primary sources of information were based on the application of interviews with people living on 25 farms, which represent 100 % of the existing farms in the region, in order to determine the tourist attractions present in the area. In addition, interviews were conducted with the director of the "María la Gorda" International Diving Center, the director and the environmental specialist that attends to tourism activities at the Guanahacabibes Integrated Office, the director of the Guanahacabibes National Park, and directors of the Guanahacabibes Agroforestry Enterprise.

A workshop was developed, based on group work, where all the decision makers in the development of tourism in Guanahacabibes, the director of the National Park of the same name, the head of the Office for the Integral Development of Guanahacabibes, the director of the International Diving Center "María la Gorda", farmers, and the forest managers of the area participated, identifying the limitations and potential of the region with respect to tourism activity.

 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Origins and evolution of agrotourism

Since the 70s of last century, there has been an awakening in the world of a tourist activity that every year grows in arithmetic proportion, due to its acceptance by tourists; it is agrotourism, an activity that, as mentioned above, allows the client not only to exchange with the members of rural communities, but to participate in agricultural processes and even consume part of the planted crops. With this, the agricultural activity and the traditional culture, linked to the rural world, which before was only seen as a place to produce and to live badly, particularly in underdeveloped countries, are revalued (Castillo Vizuete & Quevedo Báez, 2016).

This new tourist modality has had several countries as flags. In Europe, it has been Italy that has developed it strongly, where Italian farmers began by offering, on their farms, food services, and then organizing more complete services that included the experience of the field, accommodation and food. In 1985 they established a law for agrotourism. It is organized by Agriturist, Terra Nostra and Turismo Verde.

In America, it was the United States of America who started agrotourism activities, due to the need to adapt facilities to accommodate hunters and fishermen in regions that lacked hotel infrastructure, besides being aware that this meant an additional economic income. With time, they invested in improving the offer, increasing the services needed to improve comfort and security. In 1990, the National Council for Rural Development was created, with the aim of curbing the economic depression in rural areas.

On the threshold of the twenty-first century, agrotourism had become more or less consolidated on all continents, corresponding to the level of development of the promoting countries and the initiatives that had emerged as part of the awakening of alternative tourism.

Agrotourism at the global level has a behavior that is distinguished by the following aspects: in the case of developed countries, it is practiced on large farms; institutional links are made between managers of organic agriculture, sustainable land use; nature protection; rural development and the preservation of landscapes and cultural heritage; it is a lifestyle (case Sweden); stays are made in homes and training programs for women; emphasis is made on bee farms, strawberry picking, dairy and fish farms (case Quebec, Canada).

In less developed countries, agrotourism practice focuses on fishing villages, fruit farms and freshwater lakes (case Malaysia); coffee farming (case Colombia); flower farms (case Bali); health (case Thailand); mariculture and salt extraction (case South Africa). In general, agrotourism has reached significant levels in the Americas, in countries such as: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Colombia.

In Cuba, agrotourism is a young activity, although in reality it could have been one of the pioneer countries as will be seen later. It possesses exceptional conditions for its practice, as it fulfills all the conditions that should exist and maintains productive forms and traditional ways of life linked to agriculture; the very circumstance of being an underdeveloped country has conditioned the preservation of these values, which constitutes a contradiction that benefits agrotourism.

The agricultural area makes up 42 % of the land in the Cuban archipelago. The provinces with the largest agricultural area are Cienfuegos, Las Tunas, Camagüey, Sancti Spíritus and Granma (ONEI, 2017). In particular, in the province of Pinar del Río, the agricultural area represents 30 % of the total surface, although the agricultural activity is distributed in both the flat and mountainous areas.

At present, the agrarian structure in Cuba is divided into state and non-state sectors. The former includes agro-livestock and forestry enterprises and other state entities. The second is made up of basic cooperative production units (UBPCs), agro-livestock production cooperatives (CPAs), credit and service cooperatives (CCSs) and dispersed private farmers. Of these organizational forms, the UBPCs are the most numerous, followed by the CCSs, the CPAs and finally the enterprises and farms (ONEI, 2017).

With respect to land tenure, the largest number of tenants are usufructuaries, followed by land owners, dispersed peasants and tenants.

The first glimpses of developing agrotourism activities in Cuba date back to 1959, when the nascent revolutionary state proposed substantial changes in the practice of tourism. In that year, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, visiting Viñales, province of Pinar del Río, proposed the pioneering idea of carrying out an Agrotourism Reform, conceived as part of the Agrarian Reform being carried out in the country; in such a way that, in those places with tourist values, the necessary adjustments would be made to develop tourism linked to agriculture. At the beginning, the Viñales and Ancon Valleys were considered as places where it was necessary to:

The implementation of this idea did not materialize due to the situation that the country entered from the direct confrontation with the United States and the consequent economic blockade. But, without a doubt, it was a pioneering project in the world because it was not until two decades later that the practice of agrotourism emerged on the planet.

Since 1980, throughout the island of Cuba, some tourist initiatives associated with agricultural activities have been perceived, but due to their sectoral character they were not consolidated; an example of this was the so-called San Vicente Farm, in the municipality of Viñales, Pinar del Río. Similarly, the Flora and Fauna Enterprises, attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, created in many of its productive and conservation units attractive tourist services that were linked to agricultural and livestock activities.

In 1995, with the creation of the Ministry of Tourism in Cuba, a new impulse was given to alternative tourism in its most varied forms, among which was tourism linked to the rural world. But again, it followed a sectorial policy that showed sites for the practice of the agrotourism, administered by entities of the managerial structure of the above-mentioned ministry, which were taking away from the authenticity and attractiveness to the face of the market. An example within this scheme is the peasant's house in Las Terrazas Complex, province of Artemisa.

In 2010, the touristic project Tobacco Route was born in the province of Pinar del Río, with a proposal one hundred percent directed to the practice of agrotourism, linked to the culture of tobacco. In 2015, it opens its doors to the tourist market with an offer that, although it does not cover all the area conceived within the Route, it allows the visit and appreciation of the most diverse activities related to the tobacco leaf.

One of the most successful aspects of the project is the implementation of the two agrotourism centers in the fertile plains "Quemado del Rubí" and "Hoyo de Mena", located in the municipality of San Juan y Martínez, Pinar del Río, with a scheme based on the concept of family micro-businesses that facilitate agrotourism services, which include the appreciation and practice of productive tobacco activities complemented by accommodation and catering (Mateo Burbano et al., 2020). All of which adds an economic income that allows for substantial changes in the production and quality of life of the peasant family, as well as the population that exists in their surroundings.

Parallel to this proposal, as of 2014, other peasants throughout the country began to be motivated through the Local Agricultural Innovation Program (PIAL) project, which in principle brought together a group of women producers from several provinces. The training provided promoted the emergence of several successful agrotouristic products, including "La Picadora" in the municipality of Yaguajay, Sancti Spíritus; "La Campiña" in the municipality of Viñales and "Charrabascal" in the municipality of La Palma, both in the province of Pinar del Río.

Despite these efforts, they are isolated initiatives that are not contemplated within a strategy that allows for development under the conceptual and methodological precepts of agrotourism and that respond to local interests. At this moment, the conditions are created in the country, in the structural and in the political will of the government, to give an impulse to the creation of agrotourism products throughout the country. The new Cuban Constitution, the economic and social development program until 2030, municipal autonomy and the decentralization of the business system are opportunities for its implementation.

In the province of Pinar del Río, a pioneer in the elaboration of the Municipal Development Strategy in all its municipalities, the Local Sustainable Tourism program has been identified in each of them, which stimulates proposals from the potentialities and local identity of agrotourism products, among other modalities (Ramos et al., 2018).

General aspects of agrotourism, current situation and context

The accumulation of experiences in the world, in the practice of agrotourism, allows us to have precisions in the behavior of those who consume this type of particular product, related to their motivations.

The agrotourist is an individual with a certain romanticism disillusioned with the effects of urban life, although he or she does not renounce it. In his status of conscience and feelings of nostalgia, he has concerns about the conservation of nature and cultural values as elements of identity (González et al., 2019).

As a result of agrotourism management, the direct benefits for local populations are significant (Riveros & Blanco, 2003), in compliance with the premise that it is a dynamic activity for local development that prevents migration from the countryside to the city. Among the direct benefits are: hiring of local labor, room rentals, gastronomic services, transportation rentals and the purchase of souvenirs that express the local identity.

In turn, the offeror of agrotourism services also differs from the rest of the tourist servers in other ways. In its immense majority, they are carried out by families who own farms or cooperatives and/or agro-productive farms, which leads to the income generated being retained in the sites where the tourist action takes place, and in the same way contributes to the conservation of rural traditions. Among the most benefited local actors are peasant women, who may have a high participation in the provision of various services.

Those who provide agrotouristic services should be trained in the knowledge of tourism activity, they should consider that the assistance they provide to the tourist who visits them is a complement to the traditional productive work and not the only reason for their economy.

For agrotouristic activity to develop in a municipality, local governments must stimulate it as part of their development strategies, insofar as it stimulates favorable conditions for productive chains, investment, revaluation of agrotourism resources and their appreciation as attractive.

The development of agrotourism in a territory leads to the establishment of alliances and collaborative networks, in which different providers, both from the state and non-state sectors, participate. In this way, the following can be involved: hotels, restaurants, transporters, travel agencies, agro-industries, manifestations of local culture, among many others (Moral Moral et al., 2019; Párraga, 2016; Riveros & Blanco, 2003).

On the other hand, the agrotouristic offer is composed of several elements, which are part of the design principles of any tourist product. In essence, it is the sum of the agrotouristic attractions, plus the complementary ones linked to the natural and cultural environment, plus the associated services (accommodation, food, media rental, guiding, among others), plus the minimum infrastructure.

For the development of agrotouristic activities, certain conditions must be met, among which the most important are:

The agrotouristic model is innovative in that it is not a conventional tourist activity, but it brings new possibilities to the rural population and generates changes in the existing productive systems. To the same extent, it is participatory, as rural inhabitants are actors in their own development and not just spectators of tourist activities. For the greatest success in the application of this model, the management of agrotourism must be carried out in an associative manner among the providers of this service, since in an isolated manner it is more difficult to compete in the market.

It adds other values to the local population and even to the tourist, related to the formation of new knowledge and practices in topics such as: environmental conservation, management, organization, accounting, regulations, and changes in the quality of life. To the clients, the contact with different cultures, ways of life, productive forms, among others.

In the case of the peasant who offers agrotourism services, in Blanco's opinion (2007) and as it has already been stated in a general way, he should see it as a style and not as a way of life, since the idea is not to get rich, but to enjoy and share with others the resources and attractions of his environment and to generate new opportunities for his descendants.

Conception of the procedure for the design of agrotouristic products

For the development of agrotouristic products, it is necessary to create methodological tools appropriate to the Cuban context. To this end, the farms or agro-industries that select their members must take into account that it is not enough to offer, as attractions, the components of the agricultural culture that are developed there, but it is also necessary to complement them with complementary attractions and associated services that make it possible for tourists to stay longer. To do this, a business plan must be designed as part of the product design.

The procedure for the design of agrotouristic products, linked to local development policies, is a novelty in the Cuban context, as this sub-modality of rural tourism has not been developed in Cuba under methodological precepts. This proposal is an attempt to systematize the design of touristic products in Cuba, applying them experimentally in the region of Guanahacabibes, province of Pinar del Río. To this end, a step-by-step procedure was proposed, in which various actors linked to the tourism product participated. Below is the scheme of the procedure (Fig. 1).

The procedure, in its conception, in the Cuban context, responds to the Municipal Development Strategy, in which the main local problems and the potentialities and ways to solve them have been identified (Alejandre Castellanos et al., 2019). Within its programs, each municipality has conceived a small-scale local tourism programme, with sustainable bases, where the touristic modalities to be practiced are identified depending on the vocation of the territory.

Fig. 1 - Procedure for the design of agrotouristic products
Source: Own elaboration based on SERNATUR (2015)

In order to understand what each step of the procedure for the design of the agrotouristic product consists of, the following are described:

Step 1: Conception of the agrotouristic project idea

About the idea

In this step, the ideas are generated from where the rest of the procedure will start, that is, what will be sold? And to whom will it be sold? The original idea begins by being imprecise, as time goes by it will improve until it is defined.

In order to make the idea progress, it is necessary to deliberate on the context in which it will be deployed. To do so, it is necessary to take into account:

In this step, it is advisable to make a mental map of the idea, where the elements indicated above are pointed out. In order to elaborate the mentioned map, creativity must be used, especially expressing it in a very graphic way. It is important that there are no limits to represent the ideas no matter how irrational they are considered. Brainstorming is the best tool to obtain a good mapping in which as many stakeholders as possible should participate.

About the client

In the same way, in this step, the study of the market in a preliminary way, which likes the agrotourism, is essential, because there must be a total correspondence between the product and the demands of who will consume it, that is to say, offer and demand are very close allies, both walk united of the hand. It is necessary to define which market segment the product proposal is aimed at. For all these reasons, it is essential to know the tastes, preferences and expectations of the travelers so that, once they arrive at their destination, they can fulfill them and, if possible, exceed them, which should be a goal of the suppliers (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 - Scheme for selecting the idea for the agrotouristic project
Source: Own elaboration based on SERNATUR (2015)

Step 2: Conceptual design of the agrotouristic product

In all touristic product design, the concept is a key aspect, without which what you want to obtain and then market is aimless. It is the basis of the product's positioning that allows it to be unique and competitive. In other words, it is to focus on a central idea that will allow to give shape to the whole design. The concept will be fed with key elements from which it is formed. Among the main ones, we can mention:

a) Meditation and Spirituality

b) Emotions and experiences

c) Socio-cultural exchanges

d) Appreciation of local culture, customs and traditions

e) Contact with rural communities and coexistence

f) Relaxation in a healthy and familiar environment

g) Personalized attention

h) Entertainment

With these elements, the concept of the agrotourism product, synthesized in figure 3, can be created.

Fig. 3 - Formulation scheme of the agrotouristic product concept
Source: Own elaboration based on SERNATUR (2015)

Step 3: Inventory of basic and complementary agrotouristic resources

This step is transcendental in the conformation of the agrotouristic product; once the previous ones have been overcome it is necessary to go into the space object of design to identify and value the agrotouristic resources that constitute the main raw material for its elaboration.

Before entering into the inventory of resources, it is necessary to remember the components of the tourist product in order to work in a systemic way. The authors consider that the tourist product is made up of: Basic attractions, complementary attractions, direct services of the tourist plant, infrastructure and superstructure (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4 - Scheme of the touristic product
Source: Own elaboration

Step 4: Design of the agrotouristic business

The design of the agrotouristic business is a tool that allows the entrepreneur to visualize and design his business management strategy. This design allows the business to be appreciated in a comprehensive way. It is advisable to prepare it in such a way that it covers the fundamental aspects of the agrotouristic product and has enough flexibility so that the product can adapt to the circumstances and can be modified over time. In order to carry out a business, it is necessary to have certain concepts clear and that the entrepreneur, as the main interested party, internalizes them. The simplified CANVAS model has been used as a tool for setting up the business, as it is the one that offers the best possibilities. In principle, it is easy to use for small enterprises such as agrotourism; this tool has been used when you want to introduce elements of innovation in a process or a tourism product.

Customer section

In an agrotouristic business focused on demand, the client is the starting point, taking up the information from Step 2, that is, determining who the clients are and what they want, for them value must be generated.

Offer section

Here it is described the set of offers that give values to the client and for which they decide to travel to an essentially agrotouristic destination. The inputs from Step 3 are reused by considering the values given to the client, the problem it helps to solve, the needs it satisfies and the products and services offered to each market segment.

The value proposal will be based on the attributes of the agrotourism product. Here it is necessary to take into account that one cannot compete for prices, but rather from the uniqueness of the product.

Economy and finance section

The income flow is linked to the way in which it will be obtained. This flow can depend on different standards, prices and offers for the market segments that have been identified for the agrotouristic product referred. The starting point here is what value the client is willing to pay for what is offered and how they will pay. Also, the most important costs will be considered from identifying which are the most expensive resources and activities.

Infrastructure section

In order to develop the agrotouristic business it is necessary to have the necessary infrastructure that corresponds to the satisfaction of the client and the functionality of the activities that have been designed.

Step 5: Implementation

The implementation of the agrotouristic product is, like every business that starts, complex and requires a comprehensive vision and management. In this step, three aspects are proposed:

a) Habilitation of key resources: This is done based on a plan that allows us to know over time what investments will be required for the operationalization of the agrotouristic product. This plan must contain clear deadlines and costs, which can be notified over time

b) Organizational structure: In correspondence with the type of touristic product and the scale of how it was designed, a structure will be established that responds to the objectives of the business

c) Marketing of the agrotouristic product: A marketing strategy must be established and implemented, using the identified channels

Step 6: Monitoring and Evaluation

With the implementation of the business, the process in which the agrotouristic product entered does not end; from there the life of the product begins and throughout this stage, the entrepreneur must have an open mind to follow up and introduce the necessary changes. This step has the peculiarity that it starts from the moment the agrotouristic product is being designed. The tool that has been selected to be used at this time is the Lean Startup, a way of approaching the launch and management of businesses. Throughout this process it is important to consider both internal and external clients.

 

REFERENCES

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Conflict of interest:

Authors declare not to have any conflict of interest.

 

Authors' contribution:

The authors have participated in the writing of the paper and the analysis of the documents.

 


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