Integrating horticulture into the tourism supply chain

D.E. Aldous
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that the global value of tourism will be US$ 10.8 trillion by 2018. Tourism has become a crucial contributor to the GDP with the total export earnings of many countries' being a major source of employment. With definitions acknowledged for nature-based or ecotourism the author establishes horticultural tourism as a niche market in green tourism and describes the benefits and potential of the green assets, such as public parks and recreation facilities, historic and heritage gardens, national and international horticultural events, rural farm visits, community gardens and farmers markets, all of which have as yet untapped tourism potential in many countries. Horticultural tourism initiatives require the effective integration of these horticultural assets, products and services in the tourism supply chain. The objective of the paper is to provide a definition of horticultural tourism and discuss the successful methods being used in countries to integrate horticultural products and services into the tourism supply chain as well as discuss the challenges and research opportunities facing this dynamic sector of the industry and the need for it to move towards a more sustainable operating base. Evidence suggests that in most developed and developing countries it is possible to establish a viable supply chain that stretches from the producer/service manager of the asset to the tourism and hospitality industry. However, the challenges that need to be addressed include a better understanding of the tourism supply chain, an acknowledgement that all stakeholders have to be involved and there is active government assistance to achieve significant horticulture-tourism integration. Horticultural tourism will continue to grow in both developed and developing countries provided it is founded on the principles and practices associated with sustainable development, with minimal impact on the environment, promotes health and active living, and is supportive of local culture and economy.
Aldous, D.E. (2017). Integrating horticulture into the tourism supply chain. Acta Hortic. 1181, 55-68
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1181.7
horticultural markets, nature-based activities, sustainable development, rural, gardening