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Title: Farm tourisn in Wales : a new peasantry perspective
Author: Talbot, Mandy
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 9207
Awarding Body: Aberystwyth University
Current Institution: Aberystwyth University
Date of Award: 2015
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This PhD examines farm tourism in Wales, a marginal area for farming which is, at the same time, popular for tourism due to its high quality natural environment. This is a timely study as it is now over two decades since farm tourism was promoted through rural development policies as a way to support the farm household and revitalise rural economies. In the intervening years farm tourism has evolved and become a professional sector. It is therefore important to understand how the farm tourism sector has developed, and the impact that farm tourism has had on the farm household and wider rural economy. To date, there has been limited research in these areas. This PhD addresses these gaps. The study contributes to theory by examining farm tourism from Ploeg?s (2008) new peasantry perspective. It examines how peasant farming principles apply in the context of farm tourism development and operation in the early twenty-first century. The premise of the study is that the new peasantry?s struggle for increased autonomy is achieved through the development of their resource base. The literature review compares Ploeg?s (2008) new peasantry theory to other approaches examining farm development, most notably entrepreneurship. It outlines why the new peasantry is the most suitable theoretical approach to examining farm tourism. Ploeg?s (2008) theoretical framework is then adapted in order to specifically examine farm tourism. The research profiles the new peasantry in the context of farm tourism and finds that there are three significantly different groups operating farm tourism which benefit from it in different ways. These groups include diversifying farmers on larger and smaller farms, and lifestyle movers. The research identifies the resources that farm tourism operators have drawn upon in creating their farm tourism products. This provides an understanding of what the modern, multifunctional farm tourism product is, and in doing so broadens the definition of farm tourism. The research identifies four broad approaches taken to develop the farm tourism business facilities. These were based on whether the development approach followed, characterised peasant or capitalist behaviour, and whether or not growth was pursued. The research briefly examines market relationships, and finds that following a collaborative approach improves levels of trade. Finally, the research finds that, for the majority of operators, farm tourism has benefitted the farm household. The vast majority of operators report that farm tourism has been successful in achieving their overall goals, and that they plan to continue with farm tourism in the future. This suggests that farm tourism in Wales is a viable long term strategy. The research also finds that those taking advantage of farm tourism opportunities in the twenty-first century are those in a more favourable financial position. From a policy perspective, findings show that rural development support has played a key role in assisting farm tourism business start-up and growth. However, grants are only available to those who already have access to financial resources and do little to support the struggling farmer. At the same time policy challenges hinder the farm tourism sector in Wales, preventing it from achieving its full potential. Recommendations have been made to address these issues. The adapted new peasantry framework has proved suitable and has provided new insights into farm tourism. The framework examines farm tourism development as a process, and provides an understanding of how operators? contexts will affect their progression through the framework and the degrees of peasant or capitalist behaviour that they exhibit. When applying the model, it is also important to recognise how policy influences the development of farm tourism. Therefore, the application of the model would need to factor in the specific policy environment of the study location.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Aberystwyth University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available