Executive Summary: An Initial Economic Impact Estimate of Agritourism in Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Bruce Sorte, Melissa Fery and Audrey Comerford
EM 9421-FS | February 2024 |

In agritourism, producers combine farming with some aspects of tourism. Agritourism can take the form of farm-direct sales, education, entertainment, outdoor recreation and hospitality. Surveys tell us that farmers take up agritourism to:

  • Increase income.
  • Create a sense of community.
  • Educate visitors about farming.
  • Share farm products and farm with others.

This analysis sought to quantify the potential value that agritourism may provide to Willamette Valley farmers and their communities. Based on our surveys, farmers offering agritourism may earn 50% of their gross revenues and 50% of their net revenues or profits from agritourism. These producers diversify their income sources, which protects against economic fluctuations.

Get a detailed look

Take a deeper dive into the economics of Willamette Valley agritourism.

Key takeaways for farmers and policymakers

  • Agritourism is diverse, and many farmers provide several agritourism products and services, which range from selling produce at farm stands to on-farm lodging and school visits to farms.
  • A majority (66%) of agritourism customers and visitors live within 50 miles of the farms. One-third of consumers come from more than 50 miles away for day (19%) and overnight visits (15%) to the area. (Estimates include one-time and repeat visitors.)
  • Approximately 22% of Willamette Valley farms produce one or more types of agritourism products and services.
  • When we total the economic effects of agritourism sales, daytime visitor spending and overnight visitor, direct sales exceed $985 million. Value-added sales (sales minus outside supply or production inputs) exceed $572 million.
  • Agritourism supports, in full and part-time jobs, approximately 9,000 jobs on farms and contributes to approximately 2,000 jobs in both rural and urban communities.
  • Between 3.7 million and 13.7 million people visit agritourism farms annually.

Survey participants overwhelmingly indicated that agritourism was important to their financial viability and their efforts to help people appreciate the importance of farming.

About the authors

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