Dinkum Journal of Economics and Managerial Innovations (DJEMI).

Publication History

Submitted: November 14, 2023
Accepted:   November 27, 2023
Published:  January 31, 2024




Sanjana Sobhan (2024). Agro-Tourism for Sustainable Development: Willingness to Pay, Challenges & Remedies from the Perspective of Bangladesh. Dinkum Journal of Economics and Managerial Innovations, 3(01):01-16.


© 2024 DJEMI. All rights reserved

Agro-Tourism for Sustainable Development: Willingness to Pay, Challenges & Remedies from the Perspective of BangladeshOriginal Article

Sanjana Sobhan *1

1        Lecturer, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh; sanjana.mkt@gmail.com

* Correspondence: sanjana.mkt@gmail.com

Abstract: Agro-tourism is a new concept that interests scholars and practitioners worldwide. Farmers can diversify their revenue streams and offset declining agricultural earnings by hosting and participating in touristic on-farm activities. Bangladesh failed to capitalize on this booming sector despite its huge potential. However, Bangladesh nexus agro-tourism challenges, remedies, and willingness to pay research under a single comprehensive model has been neglected. The problem is the lack of knowledge regarding the challenges and strategies needed for ensuring sustainable growth of agro-tourism in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has immense potential for harnessing agro-tourism and accentuating the economic conditions of the country.  This study examined agro-tourism challenges in Porsha, a sub-district of Naogaon, Bangladesh, to propose solutions and assess tourists’ willingness to pay to fill research gaps.  This mixed-method study collected responses using multistage and purposive sampling. In an in-person field survey, N=25 farmers, Bangladesh Tourism Board and agricultural extension department officials, and local residents were interviewed. N=398 tourists completed a structured questionnaire. This study estimated data using ordered probit regression, multi-nominal regression, SWOT analysis, and rank order.  The results showed that visitors’ education, income, and interest in agro-tourism affect their willingness to pay. In the same way, tourists with positive attitudes and higher preferences who had fewer problems at agro-tourism sites paid more. Interviewees found that this industry has faced many challenges despite its potential. This study improves understanding and boosts this vibrant industry by proposing solutions. The study’s policy implications including amenities development in potential agro tourism areas, marketing, and promotional measures can help decision-makers, investors, researchers, farmers, tourists, and other actors grow Bangladesh’s agro-tourism industry.

Keywords: agro tourism, willingness to pay, SWOT analysis, Bangladesh


Tourism affects regional and national economies. Agro-tourism can boost the economy. Agro-tourism attracts money, investment, and innovation to the region, fostering infrastructure industries and traditional crafts that address socio-economic issues [1]. Agro-tourism uses farm diversification to achieve tourism goals. Thus, well-organized agro-tourism can help rural economies adjust structurally.  Agro-tourism was first developed in Europe to diversify income and help farmers [2]. Pandurang Taware first introduced this unproven business strategy in Maharashtra in 2005. It didn’t immediately catch on in India. In Maharashtra, he founded the Agriculture Tourism Development Company (ATDC) to help rural youth live better and create sustainable livelihoods. It involves actively participating in farm operations or simply taking in the scenery while on vacation or in another country to learn about and enjoy nature’s true colors [3]. Agro-tourism is considered relevant now, country farmers work hard to satisfy them. Even after working hard, they’re unhappy with their pay. They cannot afford a good life for themselves and their family, causing high suicide rates. Agro-tourism can inspire farming communities to grow crops sustainably and conserve firm biodiversity. Tourists can also learn about unique agricultural practices like harvesting crops, growing vegetables, and organically picking fruits. Developing countries with agro-biodiversity and beautiful landscapes can benefit [4]. Agro-tourism can track land resources using GIS. Under pressure, crops and harvests must be produced more to attract customers. Bali studies show that agro-tourism can preserve cultural heritage by valuing the environment and agrarian culture.  Agro-tourism is performing well in South Asia. It improves farmer welfare and boosts national income [5]. Farmers’ ability to retain tourists’ loyalty is crucial to agro-tourism’s success. Agro-tourism claims that natural resources are optimally managed for steady progress. In agro-tourism, farmer knowledge, skills, and abilities are crucial [6]. Agro-tourism can boost the economy and generate profits. Farmers’ skills and capacities are equally important to keep tourists coming.  Agro-tourism development requires significant government involvement. Studies show that a bottom-up and top-down government strategy can boost agro-tourism development. Policies, marketing, advertising, financial opportunities, and infrastructure access require government involvement. Several factors ensure agro-tourism’s peak potential, Mount Galunggung coffee farm studies show the importance of optimally training human resources so coffee farmers can farm [7]. The study shows that supportive government policies boost agro-tourism. Ecosystem-wide sustainable use of natural resources to maximize technological applications and biological potential. Bangladesh has a vibrant economy and agro-tourism potential. Bangladesh’s three revenue-generating sectors are agro-tourism [8].  Several factors make Bangladesh a special case for agro-tourism research. Many obstacles are preventing the country from reaching its full potential. Lack of infrastructure is the biggest obstacle to agro-tourism. The workforce is inefficient and political and institutional barriers exist. Bangladesh’s agro-tourism potential is limited by administrative complexity, poor global image, and lack of awareness [9]. Lack of rural strategic decision-makers in the industry is also causing chaos. Complex travel procedures, poverty, and lack of investment are also limiting Bangladesh’s agro-tourism potential.  Thus, government, farmers, and hotels must collaborate. Consumers’ theoretical maximum price for a good or service is called their “willingness to pay” (WTP). Product economic value and customer utility determine WTP [10]. Bangladesh must fund rural agro-tourism development, agro-tourism is one of Bangladesh’s fastest-growing trends, and many rural and urban areas are good for it. The government is trying to improve rural areas’ agro-tourism development to increase consumer and tourist attraction willingness to pay. Paying customers for rural agro-tourism prefer heterogeneity to enhance rural landscape recreation. An increase in willingness to pay can boost the economy and raise tax revenues from various tourist activities to fund sustainable rural and urban policy [11]. It can also improve sustainable activity and experience in rural Bangladesh. This study examined the factors that influence Bangladeshi tourists’ willingness to pay for agro-tourism.  Additionally, agro-tourism can help Bangladesh develop sustainably by boosting tourist interest. All global sustainable tourism policies, strategies, and procedural frameworks are based on economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection [12]. Sustainability requires all tourism industry players to be aware of it and balance economic and environmental interests. They should use agro-tourism to conserve energy, recycle, reduce plastic and toxic waste, protect historical sites, and create more jobs. However, Bangladesh must overcome significant obstacles to grow its agro-tourism industry. Sustainable agro-tourism can alleviate rural Bangladeshi food shortages [13]. These issues must be researched and addressed in Bangladesh for sustainable tourism.  Sustainable agro-tourism maximizes financial gains, stakeholder benefits, quality of life, and environmental preservation. Agro-tourism can boost rural economies by increasing farm income. Agro-tourism can help rural communities develop sustainably by generating income and preserving culture [14]. Bangladesh is fertile and alluvial, with 70% of its population dependent on agriculture. The nation can have sustainable and agro-ecological farming zones. Multiple agricultural enterprises can be developed simultaneously in the nation. Bangladeshi tourism needs indigenous knowledge for overall growth [15]. Bangladesh’s government can promote indigenous farmers’ eco-protection projects to attract tourists. Bangladeshi studies show which products and services can generate enough revenue from agro-tourism. Bangladeshi tourism studies support agro-tourism. They also emphasize the need for private and government institutions to collaborate and reduce each other’s tourism weaknesses in Bangladesh [16].


Bangladesh, an agro-based developing nation, covers 147,570 km2, its location gives it rich, fertile land and many rivers, making it an agro-based nation. Agriculture contributed 15.63% to GDP and directly employed 41.43% of the workforce. Agriculture supports 84% of rural households. Agriculture provides raw materials to industry and exports, but it also provides employment, livelihood, and food security for most rural people [16]. Agro-tourists visit farms or other agricultural enterprises to participate, play, or learn. Agro-tourism offers farmers many ways to diversify and increase revenue.  Agro-tourism is when people visit farms or other agricultural operations for recreation, education, or other direct involvement [17]. Agro-tourism combines agriculture and tourism. Visitors are drawn to rural culture in agro-tourism. Agro-tourism is a sustainable tourist development and multi-activity in rural areas that teaches visitors about agriculture, agricultural occupations, local products, traditional food, rural life, and culture. It now holds potential for income and employment, agro-tourism is a subset of eco-tourism, involves tourists visiting gardens, farms, ranches, and other agricultural businesses for entertainment, education, or rest [18]. These vacations or tourism can involve tourists in livestock and crop maintenance for several days or involve activities like picking fruits, tasting honey, milking cows, feeding farm animals, horseback riding, and more. Ranchers offer tourists hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and other guided tours as part of their agro-tourism business. Bangladesh has made great strides in agriculture in recent decades, making it the top producer of jute, rice, jackfruit, mangoes, tropical fruits, farmed fish, and tobacco. Bangladesh ranks 3rd in inland open water capture production and 5th in aquaculture production [19]. Using an active farm and commercial tourism components, agricultural tourism can boost rural development and agriculture. Agro-tourism integrates social, economic, and environmental sustainability, which affects local perception of tourism. The innovation and diversity of agro-tourism, which offers visitors recreational and leisure activities while benefiting locals, tourists, and farmers, could also benefit farms [20]. Asking respondents about their “Willingness to Pay” is not enough; they must also be asked about their “Willingness to Accept” WTA is respondents’ minimum environmental acceptance. Consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) reflects their perceived value of a product or service, which is the highest price they are willing to pay for that quantity [21]. For economic growth and tourism, agro-tourism is needed, Bangladesh is one of the best South Asian tourist destinations, and farmers can develop agro-tourism to boost their income. Agro-tourism boosts rural Bangladeshi economies, benefiting both urban and rural areas. Production, marketing, regulatory, financial, management, and personal threats may have affected rural Bangladesh [23]. Numerous studies have shown that agro-tourism on farms increases farmers’ income. Agro-tourism has long benefited rural economies in countries where it has been practiced. Agro-tourism provides 23% of Italian farmers’ monthly income. Agriculture is the center of endogenous development in rural areas, where farmers use local resources to develop their entrepreneurial skills. Instead of agricultural products, his work is now valued for the quality made possible by technological advancement and marketing measures that respond to changing consumer tastes. Longstanding traditions include farm visits and harvest celebrations, Agro-tourism allows farmers to diversify and make extra money through touristic on-farm activities to offset declining agricultural income.  Agro-tourism offers a new opportunity for rural and national economic growth [24].

Figure 01: Conceptual Framework

Figure 01: Conceptual Framework


The main goals of this study are to evaluate the benefits and problems of agro-tourism for sustainable rural development as well as the major determinants of tourist’s willingness to pay for agro-tourism destination visits in Bangladesh. In this study, a mixed technique that incorporates both quantitative and qualitative research is heavily employed because it is thought that both are crucial to achieving the study’s true goal.  As a result, the objective of this two-stage, sequential mixed method study is to acquire qualitative findings followed by statistical quantitative findings, through participant in-depth interviews and survey questionnaires in Porsha (sub-district) of Naogaon, Bangladesh.

Figure 02: Study Area Map

Figure 02: Study Area Map

An exploratory study using a self-administered questionnaire has been used to examine the willingness to pay for agro-tourism locations. The study was conducted in “Porsha” a sub-district of Naogaon, Bangladesh, where the total population is 132,095. The respondents were the adult population of 18 to 50 years old. However, the adult population was 2150.   This study was carried out using Ordered probit regression. The approach used to determine the sampling for this study was Taro Yamane Formula

Yamane, 1973


n =Sample size,

N= Population size and

e= Acceptable sampling error

For this study the sample size would be

To ensure accurate statistics, it was chosen to target a total of N=398 respondents for the survey of study. Generalized linear models include the Probit and Logistic Regression models, which were used to estimate the causal connection between two categorical dependent and independent variables [25]. However, an ordered probit regression model was applied for finding the key factor of willingness to pay for agro-tourism. A standard ordered probit regression model is given by equation (1). A dependent variable yi* can be characterized as a linear function of a vector of variables xi and an unobserved random term u which is usually distributed u~N (0,1) (Glewwe, 1997).

eq (1)

The probability that observation i will select alternative j is:

eq (2)

For ordered probit, F is standard normal cumulative density function. The marginal effect of an increase in a regressor xr on the probability of selecting alternative j is:

eq (3)

The marginal effects of each variable on the different alternatives sum up to zero. Marginal effects interpretation: each unit increase in the independent variable increases/decreases the probability of selecting alternative j by the marginal effect expressed as a percent. Additionally, this study used a multinominal logistic regression model to analyze variables that affect tourists’ willingness to pay for agro-tourism farms. Simple linear regression is often used to examine the relationship between a single response (dependent) variable and a single predictor variable. When multiple factors explain a phenomenon, multinominal logistic regression is used and for further analysis was done in STATA. Interview candidates were selected using these criteria: (1) Agro farms registered with the Naogaon, district administrator’s office; (2) Agro farms showcasing local culture and values. (3) Agro farm employs poor locals; Most in-depth interviews were with Naogaon, Bangladesh agro farm businesses. This part of the study included farmers 7, local people 5, Bangladesh Tourism Board employees 5, Agricultural Extension Department representatives 5, and 3 NGO representatives who manage Naogaon’s agricultural farms. Therefore, 25 people responded to the study. A SWOT analysis shows Bangladesh’s agro-tourism potential. Finally, farmers’ perceived barriers to agro-tourism in the country were ranked to determine the biggest obstacles.


The results of a survey of people’s “agro-tourism ideas” are presented in this table 01 broken down by demographics such as gender, education level and occupation. The survey also shows that men (56%) are more likely than women (17%) to ask about agro-tourism. The table also shows that the majority of respondents who know about agro-tourism have at least a high school diploma (H.S.C.) if not a higher education, and they are all. From the Table 01, it can be seen that most respondents with agro-tourism knowledge are employed (36%) or self-employed (15%) and have at least a high school diploma (HSC.) if not an advanced degree.

Table 01: Idea about Agro-tourism with Demographic Representation

Attributes   No idea Not Interested  Yes  Total
Gender Male 85 (21%) 2 (1%) 222 (56%) 309 (78%)
female 21 (5%) 1 (0%) 67 (17%) 89 (22%)




Education Level








Uneducated 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (0%)
Primary Completed 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (0%) 2 (1%)
Secondary Completed 2 (1%) 0 (0%) 0   (0%) 2 (1%)
S.S.C 6 (2%) 0 (0%) 12 (3%) 18 (5%)
H.S.C 35 (9%) 0(0%) 65 (16%) 100 (25%)
Degree/Diploma Equivalent 6 (2%) 0(0%) 23 (6%) 29 (7%)
Under graduation 25 (6%) 2(1%) 89 (22%) 116 (29%)
No idea Not Interested  Yes  Total
Masters/post-graduation. 29 (7%) 1(0%) 97 (24%) 127 (32%)
Others 1 (0%) 0(0%) 2 (1%) 3 (1%)


Occupation Employed 46 (12%) 1(0%) 142 (36%) 189 (47%)
Self employed 21 (5%) 0(0%) 60 (15%) 81 (20%)
Student 19 (5%) 1(0%) 45 (11%) 65 (16%)
Unemployed 2 (1%) 1(0%) 2 (1%) 5 (1%)
Homemaker 13 (3%) 0(0%) 24 (6%) 37 (9%)
Others 5 (1%) 0(0%) 16 (4%) 21 (5%)

4.1 Tourists willing to pay for visiting agro-tourism destination

The table 02 displays the number of individuals who are willing to pay various sums for agro-tourism farms. The majority of individuals in this study (65.58%) are ready to spend less than BDT 100, with only a small percentage (3.52%) willing to pay more than BDT 500. Some people (6.53%) are prepared to pay a variable sum based on location, whilst others (8.04%) want to pay a fixed fee determined by the authorities.

Table 02: Price to pay for in Agro-tourism Farm Visits

The amount would like to pay Frequency Percent
Less than BDT 100 261 65.58%
Less than BDT 500 65 16.33%
Above 500 14 3.52%
Depend on the place 26 6.53%
Fixed amount by authority 32 8.04%
Total 398 100%

In prior literature, it was stated that the choice of a tourist destination depends on a number of factors, among them price is one of the criteria for tourists to make decisions [26]. Hence, it is clear from the study that, respondents are less willing to pay more for the agro-tourism destination. This is due to still this sector is not getting sufficient attention from the stakeholders. However, tourists are either unknown or have little knowledge regarding agro touristic farms. Hence, as this industry in Bangladesh is still growing so the tourists don’t feel to spend more money on it before experiencing its benefit and charm.

4.2 Monthly income related to Willingness to pay for a visit and idea about the business perspective

Table 03 highlighted the relation among tourist’s monthly income with their Willingness to pay for a visit agro-tourism farm and their idea about agro-tourism business perspective. According to table 03, respondents with higher mean incomes have a higher mean value for “Willingness to pay for a visit agro-tourism farm.” Those earning BDT 50,000 or more have the greatest mean value of desire to visit agro-tourism farms, with a score of 0.88. Those who do not want to share their income, on the other hand, have the lowest mean value of desire to visit agro-tourism farms, with a value of 0.70.

Table 03: Tourists’ Monthly Income Related to Willingness to Pay for a Visit and Business Perspective on Agro Farm

Average Income Willingness to pay for a visit agro-tourism   farm Business perspective about agro-tourism farm
10,000-20,000 0.79 1.74
21,000-30,000 0.77 1.43
31,000-40,000 0.84 1.73
41,000-50,000 0.77 1.64
50,000 or above 0.88 1.68
Don’t want to share 0.70 1.56
Total 0.78 1.59

However, tourists’ destination decisions are influenced by a wide variety of factors. One of the most important ones is the degree of income people have. It was revealed in a previous study that people who have higher incomes are more likely to visit exclusive destinations [27]. The table also indicates that respondents typically had a good business view on agro-tourism farms, regardless of their income level, the mean value of “Business perspective about agro-tourism farm” is the same across all income categories. Overall, individuals with higher average income levels are more tend to visit agro-tourism farms than those with lower incomes, according to the data of this study.

 4.3 Regression Analysis of “Willingness to pay for a visit”

The results of a probit regression analysis, a technique used to model a binary dependent variable, are displayed in this table (in this case, “Willingness to pay for a visit agro-tourism farm”). The chi-squared statistic and its corresponding degrees of freedom for the entire model are displayed in “LR chi2 (3)”. The probability value is 0.00, which is smaller than the frequently accepted threshold of 0.05 for statistical significance, showing that the model fits the data well. A measure of how much of the overall variance in the dependent variable is explained by the independent variables is the pseudo R2 value, which is 0.03. Education level appears to be positively correlated with Willingness to pay for a visit an agro-tourism farm in this instance as indicated by the coefficient for “Education Level” in this example, which is 0.11 and has a p-value of 0.02, which is less than 0.05. Similar to the previous example, the coefficient for “Interest regarding agro tourist farm” is 0.52 and its p-value is 0.00, which is less than 0.05, suggesting that interest in agro-tourism farms is positively correlated with readiness to visit them. The p-value for the variable “Business viewpoint about agro-tourism farm,” however, is 0.28 and is more than 0.05, indicating that it is not statistically significant in explaining Willingness to pay for a visit agro-tourism farm. Overall, these findings imply that while the business perspective regarding agro-tourism farms is not related to visitors’ Willingness to pay for a visit to agro-tourism farms, education level and interest in agro-tourism farms are positively associated with such willingness.

Table 04: Willingness to Pay for a Visit in Agro-tourism Farm Log likelihood =  -20

Number of observation 398
LR chi2(3) 15.44
Prob > chi2 0.00
Pseudo R2 0.03
Willingness to pay a visit to agro tourism  farm Coefficient P>|z| 95% confidence interval
Education Level 0.11** 0.03** 0.013 0.21
Interest about agro tourism farm 0.52** 0.01** 0.15 0.90
Business perspective about agro tourism farm 0.01 0.28 0.08 0.28

(*represents 10%, ** 5% & *** 1% significance level)

4.4 Potential employment opportunities

The outcomes of a probit regression study appear to have been performed on the issue of potential employment opportunities in agro-tourism, as shown in the table. With a coefficient of 1.54 and a P-value of 0, the variable “Contribution of agro-tourism in conserving landscape and rural heritage” in this table indicates that it is statistically significant and that it has a positive association with future employment chances in agro-tourism. With a coefficient of 0.17 and a P-value of 0.30, “Income levels and Quality of life” does not appear to be statistically significant. A coefficient of 0.29 and a P-value of 0.34 indicate that the “Contribution of agro-tourism to boost income levels” is not statistically significant. Agro-tourism plays a vital role in conserving the natural landscape and rural culture and heritage. It was discussed in the literature that agro-tourism being an important element of rural tourism preserves nature and maintains the ecological balances [28]. However, agro-tourism also maintains the conventional rural heritage and culture. Hence, it is regarded as a potential driving force for rural economic growth by creating employment opportunities [29]. Hence, from this study, we can observe that the contribution of agro-tourism in conserving natural landscape and rural heritage has a significant relationship with future employment opportunities.

Table 05: Future Employment Opportunities in Agro-tourism Farms Log likelihood = -43.448

Number of observations 398
LR chi2(2) 27.57
Prob > chi2 0
Pseudo R2 0.24
Option for the future employment Coefficient P>|z| 95% confidence interval
About contribution of agro tourism in landscape and rural heritage 1.54** 0** 0.84 2.25
Income levels and Quality of life 0.17 0.31 -0.15 0.49
Contribution of agro tourism to increase income levels 0.30 0.34 -0.32 0.91

(*represents 10%, ** 5% & *** 1% significance level)

4.5 Multinomial logistic regression

The iteration log-likelihood values indicate that the model converged after the fourth iteration with a final log-likelihood of -40 The LR chi2 test result indicates that the model is statistically significant (p = 0.00), which suggests that at least one predictor variable is significantly associated with willingness to pay.

Table 06: Multinomial Logistic Regression

Iteration 0:   log likelihood = -426.37
Iteration 1:   log likelihood = -408.90
Iteration 2:   log likelihood = -407.55
Iteration 3:   log likelihood = -407.54
Iteration 4:   log likelihood = -407.54
LR chi2(16)       =      37.67
Prob > chi2       =     0.002*
Log likelihood = -407.53
Pseudo R2         =     0.04


Willingness to pay (WTP) Coef.   P>z [95% Conf. Interval]  
Less_than_BDT_100 (base outcome)
Education Level 0.16 0.14 -0.05 0.37
Idea about Agro-tourism 0.49** 0.01** 0.11 0.87
 Major issues in Agro-tourism farm -0.07 0.51 -0.26 0.13
Level of preferences 0.18 0.13 -0.06 0.43
Education Level 0.48 0.07 -0.04 1.01
Idea about Agro-tourism 0.64 0.12 -0.17 1.44
 Major issues in Agro-tourism farm 0.35 0.06 -0.02 0.71
Level of preferences 0.24 0.31 -0.21 0.69
Education Level -0.09 0.53 -0.38 0.19
Idea about Agro-tourism 0.18 0.46 -0.29 0.66
Major issues in Agro-tourism farm -0.07 0.62 -0.35 0.21
Level of preferences 0.06 0.76 -0.3 0.41
Education Level 0.07 0.63 -0.21 0.35
Idea about Agro-tourism 0.27 0.24 -0.18 0.73
Major issues in Agro-tourism farm 0.28** 0.01** 0.03 0.53
Level of preferences -0.41** 0.02** -0.76 -0.07

(*represents 10%, ** 5% & *** 1% significance level)

The Pseudo R2 value of 0.04 suggests that the model accounts for 4.42% of the variability in willingness to pay. Among the predictor variables, the variable “Idea about Agro-tourism” has a positive coefficient estimate and is statistically significant for the categories “Less_than_BDT_500” (coef. = 0.49, p = 0.01) and “Above_500” (coef. = 0.64, p = 0.12). This suggests that having a positive idea about agro-tourism is associated with a higher willingness to pay for both of these categories. The variable “Major issues in agro-tourism farm” has a negative coefficient estimate for the category “Less_than_BDT_500” (coef. = -0.07, p = 0.50) and a positive estimate for the category “Fixed_amount_by_authority” (coef. = 0.28, p = 0.02). This suggests that the major issues in agro-tourism farm have a relatively small effect on willingness to pay for the “Less_than_BDT_500” category, while for the “Fixed amount by authority” category, it has a positive association with willingness to pay. The variable “Level of preferences” has a positive coefficient estimate for all categories, but it is only statistically significant for the “Fixed_amount_by_authority” category (coef. = -0.41, p = 0.02), indicating that those who have a higher level of preferences have a lower willingness to pay for this category.  Finally, the variable “Education Level” has a positive coefficient estimate for the”Less_than_BDT_500″ category (coef. = 0.16, p = 0.144) and the “Above_500” category (coef. = 0.48, p = 0.071), although neither of these estimates is statistically significant at the conventional level of 0.05. For the other categories, “Depend_on_the_place” and “Fixed_amount_by_authority,” the coefficient estimates are not statistically significant. Overall, the results of the logistic regression model suggest that having a positive idea about agro-tourism and the main problem, as well as having lower preferences, are associated with a higher willingness to pay for agro-tourism. However, the effect of education level on willingness to pay is inconclusive.

4.5 Challenges of agro-tourism faced by the farmers

4.5.1 Lack of education

Although the literacy rate in rural areas of Bangladesh is 71.56% according to population census 2022 but still, the traditional rural farmers have no education. This is assumed to be the major barrier while adopting agro-tourism. The agricultural sector’s contribution to the improvement of the tourism sector cannot be overstated. It’s no surprise that the agricultural sector is regarded as a key tourism asset.  The economic and employment benefits of agro-tourism to local communities are substantial. It has the potential to aid rural revitalization by creating new income and employment opportunities.

4.5.2 Underdeveloped Infrastructure

Visitors from other countries could be interested in the village landscape, wildlife, communal life, and the natural heritage of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is located in South Asia. Yet, the country is plagued by inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of sufficient facilities, both of which are necessary conditions for the growth of rural tourism in Bangladesh. Any tourist destination must maintain some basic facilities for the tourists. Facilities like accommodation for the night stay, restaurant, transport, emergency first aid and hygienic washroom are the basic requirements for the tourists who visit any tourist spot.

4.5.3 Insufficient government support

When other development choices are scarce, agro-tourism has been seen as a promising strategy for revitalizing rural communities and bolstering their economies. Being an agricultural country, Bangladesh has a greater possibility to develop the rural as well as the whole national economy by introducing agro-tourism. As a developing nation agro-tourism is in the infancy stage in Bangladesh. The farmers are smallholders, poor, and uneducated. Furthermore, they don’t know what is agro-tourism. Though some smart, young entrepreneurs are taking the initiatives to start agro-tourism projects but it needs support and motivation.  Government involvement is much needed to develop the agro-tourism sector in Bangladesh.

4.5.4 Climate change challenge

Climate change is one of the vital issues worldwide.  No doubt, there is a negative impact of climate change which Bangladesh is facing currently. Consequently, the agriculture and tourism sector is also under this threat.

4.5.5 Promotional barrier

Farmers must develop essential abilities in marketing and customer interactions if they want to diversify their industries away from traditional agriculture and toward farm tourism. While investigating the challenges this research found that, the farmers don’t possess such necessary skills to market their agro-tourism project. Moreover, there is a rare effort from the public and private stakeholders to promote agro-tourism nationwide. The vast majority of agricultural tourism enterprises are unprepared to effectively serve visitors due to a lack of training and expertise in customer service and marketing. Previous researchers revealed that the vast majority of farmers and the people who work for tourists, lack the skills necessary to ensure success in agricultural tourism.

4.5.6 Financial barrier

The absence of financial resources is a key barrier to the development of tourism in rural areas. Due to the lack of available capital, businesspeople in general do not want to get involved in the process of developing products for rural tourism. This is supported by previous studies that, when it comes to tourist management, one of the biggest challenges farmers confront is a lack of money and financial resources. In Bangladesh, the farmers are almost smallholders, some of them don’t possess their own land rather they work on other people’s land. Most of the farmers don’t even know about agro-tourism.

4.5.7 Social barrier

The effects of agro-tourism on people’s habits, families, and way of life as well as on their customs and culture are far-reaching. Because of this event, people from all over the world who speak different languages and practice different ways of life are able to interact with one another. Although, because of the absence of knowledge regarding tourism the people of remote areas are not aware of the benefit of agro-tourism. Most of the traditional farmers are old age and they cannot easily adapt themselves with this up-to-date concept. They may face village politics or harassment.

4.6 Remedies to overcome the challenges of agro-tourism

4.6.1 Marketing and promotional measures

When it comes to agro-tourism, “dealing with tourists” and “promoting the business” are two of the biggest headaches that operators face. While conducting the research it is found that the challenges of the farmers in adopting agro-tourism could be solved if necessary marketing and promotional strategies are to be taken. The prior research suggested that expanding promotional efforts and building out the agro-tourism unit’s infrastructure were both crucial to the business’s success.

4.6.2 Government Support

As agro-tourism in Bangladesh is in the infancy stage it needs proper nourishment from the govt. stakeholders. The ability of farmers to control the expansion of their businesses and to inspire and inform potential tourists about farm tourism depends on government support”. In many cases, the government is a significant factor in determining the environment in which growth takes place. There are too many hindrances to adopt agro-tourism by the farmers in the country. The first and foremost challenge is the farmers are uneducated and they are unaware of the benefits of integrating tourism into their farm operations. However, the sustainability of the travel and tourism sector would seem to depend heavily on government backing.

4.6.3 Infrastructural Development

It is difficult to advance the development of rural tourism due to issues and obstacles with public services and infrastructure. Infrastructure for the tourism industry includes amenities that often cater to tourists’ fundamental needs, such as roads, transportation options, cafes and restaurants, and utilities. In Bangladesh, the opportunity and scope for agro-tourism is enormous due to its fertile land, natural landscapes, and resources. Natural beauty alone, or beauty supplemented by only a few other attractions, has never been sufficient to draw huge numbers of tourists to any destination.

4.6.4 Business diversification

Farmers in a developing nation like Bangladesh only depend on cultivating seasonal agricultural products. Their income is limited to agricultural production. Although, even if the farmer initiates an agro-tourism project there are some challenges that they might face including the absence of agro-tourism knowledge, marketing strategies, hospitality, sanitation, and lack of accommodation where tourist can stay overnight. However, four distinct identities make agro-tourism products distinctive: terrain; customs; traditional cuisine, art, and culture; country/farm life; and nature’s way of life.

4.6.5 Climate change adaptation

Climate change is now a global issue, the consequences of climate change are mostly adverse on the whole ecosystem. Although climate change affects everyone, its effects cannot be distributed equally. Bangladesh and other poor nations will suffer first and worst. Climate change is severely affecting the agriculture of Bangladesh. The farmers are fighting these challenges and being the sufferer. The income from agriculture is decreasing due to the negative impact of climate change.

4.7 Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threat (SWOT) Analysis of Agro-tourism in Bangladesh

Agro-tourism can diversify economic growth in the face of internal and external agricultural production declines. Small and medium-sized farmers must diversify their income to survive [30]. Tourism development is possible in vibrant Bangladesh, It has many golden gardens, but its tourism industry is not sustainable.  Half the country’s population is farmers, and most are poor because they have one source of income. Thus, agro-tourism can transform their lives, table 07 shows the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of agro-tourism based on interviews and surveys. The SWOT analysis for this study showed that Bangladesh has great agro-tourism potential. SWOT is a popular framework for assessing a project or company’s pros, cons, opportunities, and threats to develop a strategy. Natural landscapes are the main foundation for agro-tourism in Bangladesh [31]. However, Bangladesh’s culture and traditions, including rural cuisine, attract tourists in addition to its natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy regional, urban, and local cultural and traditional activities. These could include attending a local festival, eating a traditional dish, wearing traditional clothing, visiting a museum, or playing a culturally significant sport. Arts, culture, and daily life are all part of Bangladeshi culture [32]. However, Bangladeshi rural people are simpler. They may be poor, but they welcome guests warmly, which is a strong sign of Bangladesh’s agro-tourism potential. Horaira & Devi (2021) say Bengali hospitality is known worldwide. The rural Bangladeshi illiteracy rate is a weakness, traditional farmers are mostly illiterate. The lack of rural education is a weakness of agro-tourism in Bangladesh. A previous study found that most rural residents lack basic education. Illiteracy hinders Bangladesh’s rural tourism industry [33].  Most traditional farmers who only grow crops don’t know about agro-tourism. Most Bangladeshi farmers are poor and small-scale. Small agricultural holdings are common in Bangladesh. This is caused by a growing population, complicated land ownership, and inheritance laws. Agro-tourism is promising in Bangladesh, but rural infrastructure is fragile. Rural Bangladeshi farmers know how to start agro-tourism but lack marketing and promotional skills. Skilled workers to help or train rural agro-tourism operators are scarce. Hospitality management candidates in rural areas are scarce. Lack of government support, policy, and regulations is a major weakness in Bangladesh.  Agro-tourism receives little government and nonprofit support. Agro-tourism in rural areas can benefit rural people and a specific area if properly implemented, despite its many drawbacks. Many rural areas are underdeveloped, so agro-tourism will change their infrastructure. In previous research, agro-tourism was shown to boost regional infrastructure and superstructure [34].

Table 07: SWOT Analysis of Agro-tourism

Strength Weaknesses
1. Natural landscape 1. Lack of education in rural areas
2. Fertile land 2. Absence of knowledge about agro-tourism
3. Local culture, traditions and food 3. Poor and smallholder farmers
4. Inherent hospitality nature of the farmers 4. Lack of infrastructure in rural area
5. Variation in agricultural products across the country. 5. Absence of marketing and promotional skills among farmers.
Opportunities Threat
1. Infrastructural development in rural areas 1. Insufficient support from Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB)
2. Additional income for the farmers 2. Lack of training and motivation from local agricultural offices
3. Preservation of landscape and rural heritage 3. Decreasing agro land due to climate change
4. Agro-tourism as an adaptation strategy for climate change 4. Safety and security issues of the tourists in remote places.
5. Employment opportunities for young entrepreneurs
6. Introducing agro-tourism packages for foreign tourist

Agro-tourism is beneficial from the perspective of sustainable development in the tourism industry. The agricultural development of the country in the production of agricultural products helps in the financial development of the country and makes the rural areas very effective in agro-tourism. The financial challenges and the lack of policy regarding agro-tourism act as the main barrier to the promotion and development of agro-tourism in the country. Not only this but also a lack of awareness among people because the concept is new and challenging specially the promotion of agro-tourism. The strategies help in the promotion of agro-tourism with the mitigation of challenges resulting in the development of agro-tourism in the country. A key component in re-establishing the roots, folk culture, and tradition is agricultural tourism. Additionally, it safeguards rural cultural legacy, enhancing social sustainability—a prerequisite for economic sustainability. The study’s major objective is to discuss the development of agro-tourism. In the western part of the world, it becomes extremely popular, but in Bangladesh, it is still in the early stages of development. Though, tourists are gradually becoming familiar with this new concept through the various means of media, however, the ratio is not noteworthy. Only tourists who are well-known with agro-tourism are willing to visit the places. Tourists who are more educated are inclined to visit such destination more. This is due to the perceived knowledge they gather about the benefit of visiting such places which are close to nature. On the other hand, there are still many challenges related to agro-tourism establishment in rural areas of Bangladesh. Even though the farmers or young entrepreneurs are taking the initiatives to undertake agro-tourism enterprise they are facing many challenges. Firstly, the majority of the farmers don’t know about this highly profitable sector which can help them to get additional income sources. Hence, it will upgrade their economic condition and standard of living.   This study will prove useful for policymakers as they formulate regulations for agro-tourism and raising farmer knowledge. The potential of agro-tourism in Bangladesh is explored in this study, which ultimately aids in directing local government action to advance agro-tourism and raise knowledge of the sustainable relationship between agriculture and tourism in Bangladesh. In order for agro-tourism to thrive to a significant extent in villages, there needs to be a strong alliance between farm owners, tourism businesses, local organizations, and government NGOs’ agriculture associations.


Following are some significant recommendation drawn from this study:

  • This study suggests that to develop this sector in Bangladesh, agro-tourism information must be spread nationwide regardless of education. To retain this income group and obtain other mid-level income groups, Bangladesh Tourism Board and Agriculture Ministry should provide farm owners with training and other support.
  • In a multinomial regression model, we found that some agro-tourism enthusiasts are willing to pay less than BDT 500, while others pay more. Agro-tourism is new in Bangladesh, so people are unsure how much to pay for it.
  • This study recommends marketing and promoting agro-tourism farms to increase visitor spending. Such initiatives will help develop this sector and benefit agro-tourism farm owners economically.
  • This study suggests that agriculture and tourism stakeholders should work harder to attract tourists to this sector in an agricultural country rich in culture and nature. Collaboration between public and private stakeholders can create a separate agency to monitor and develop this sector.
  • It is recommended that educating traditional farmers, who are uneducated and unaware of alternative income sources, about the benefits of agro-tourism. However, local agricultural offices and NGOs should provide the information and help farmers by providing knowledge about agro-tourism businesses in their own land.
  • The study suggests that the government’s agricultural department hire agriculture and tourism experts. To educate farmers, the offices can host agro-tourism workshops. To encourage farmers, the government can provide subsidies.
  • The study recommends that farmers have easy access to low-interest bank loans. Farmers face societal barriers when adopting an agro-tourism project, but seminars, workshops, and social awareness campaigns can help mitigate diverse agro-tourism industry barriers in Bangladesh.


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Publication History

Submitted: November 14, 2023
Accepted:   November 27, 2023
Published:  January 31, 2024




Sanjana Sobhan (2024). Agro-Tourism for Sustainable Development: Willingness to Pay, Challenges & Remedies from the Perspective of Bangladesh. Dinkum Journal of Economics and Managerial Innovations, 3(01):01-16.


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