Hawaii’s ag-tourism valued at $33.9 million in 2003

NASS
Hawaii Agricultural Statistics
Fact finding for agriculture

HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
1428 S. KING STREET
HONOLULU, HI 96814-2512
(808) 973-9588
FAX: (808) 973-2909
picture of State

Hawaii Ag-Tourism Released: October 18, 2004

Hawaii’s ag-tourism valued at $33.9 million in 2003

The value of Hawaii’s ag-tourism related activities (see definition below) is pegged at $33.9 million for 2003, up 30 percent from the $26.0 million generated in 2000. There were 187 farms Statewide that had ag-tourism related income during 2003, a 48 percent increase from 2000 as more farmers in Hawaii have opened-up their operations to the public; exposing visitors to the farm experience. Interest in ag-tourism appears to be strong as an additional 145 farms either started ag-tourism activities in 2004, or planned to in the future.The distribution of ag-tourism throughout the State has become more concentrated during the past four years as Hawaii county now accounts for 48 percent of the farms with ag-tourism and 37 percent of the total value. Maui county accounted for 23 percent of the farms and 20 percent of the value. Honolulu county had 16 percent of the farms and 25 percent of the value while Kauai county accounted for the remaining 13 percent of the farms and saw a boost in value to 18 percent of the total.?


County Total farms Farms with
ag-tourism activity
Value of
ag-tourism
($1,000)
Farms intending
to conduct ag-tourism
activities in the future
2000 2003 2000 2003 2000 2003 2000 2003
Hawaii 3,300 3,300 60 89 8,875 12,562 47 65
Honolulu 900 900 19 31 7,777 8,586 15 23
Kauai 500 500 16 24 2,103 5,949 6 20
Maui 800 800 31 43 7,288 6,772 16 37
State 5,500 5,500 126 187 26,043 33,869 84 145

Ag-tourism is a commercial enterprise on a working farm conducted for the enjoyment, education, and/or active involvement of the visitor, generating supplemental income for the farm. Activities such as producing and selling products directly from the farm, operating a bed and breakfast, conducting educational farm tours, offering horseback riding, festivals, concerts, and many other on-farm activities qualify as ag-tourism.


Hawaii and Kauai counties show big gains
Compared to four years ago, the county of Hawaii increased the value of ag-tourism by 42 percent, the second largest gain among all counties. A 48 percent increase in the number of farms with ag-tourism activity contributed to Hawaii county’s rise in value. Honolulu county saw a 63 percent increase in farms with ag-tourism and an increase in value of 10 percent. Kauai county registered the largest percentage increase by nearly tripling its ag-tourism value to $5.9 million in 2003. Maui county registered the only decline in the State during this 4-year period as receipts from ag-tourism decreased from $7.3 million in 2000 to $6.8 million in 2003, a 7 percent decline.Large operations generate most of ag-tourism’s value
Farms of all sizes conducted ag-tourism activities during 2003. These ag-tourism farms ranged from those with total farm sales of less than $2,500 a year to those well over $1 million per year. Large operations ($250,000 or more in total annual farm sales), however, accounted for most of the dollar value of ag-tourism. The top 20 percent of all farms with ag-tourism generated 91 percent of the total revenue.?

Although only approximately 3 percent of all Hawaii’s farms engaged in ag-tourism during 2003, the 48 percent increase in the number of ag-tourism operations between 2000 and 2003 is evidence that many see this as an opportunity to supplement their income and manage the risks inherent in farming.


Total value of
all farm sales
Total number
of farms 1/
Number of farms
with ag-tourism
Value of
ag-tourism
($1,000)
Average value of
ag-tourism per farm
(Dollars)
Less than $2,500 1,402 49 44 898
$2,500 to $4,999 715 4 14 3,616
$5,000 to $9,999 914 15 108 7,182
$10,000 to $24,999 1,060 21 188 8,934
$25,000 to $49,999 506 22 416 18,891
$50,000 to $249,999 563 38 2,447 64,395
$250,000 to $499,999 105 7 1,298 185,429
$500,000 to $999,999 62 8 3,218 402,250
$1,000,000 or more 71 23 26,137 1,136,376
State Total 5,398 187 33,869 181,115

1/ 2002 Census of Agriculture.


Sale of farm products leading source of ag-tourism income
Revenue from ag-tourism, which includes many various activities, was broken down into several categories. On-farm sales direct to farm visitors was the leading category, with $13.5 million, followed by retail sales (products from other farms or souvenir items), outdoor recreation, accommodations (bed and breakfast, meeting rooms, etc.), education, entertainment, and others.


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Item Type of ag-tourism activity Totals 3/
Outdoor recreation Educational tourism On-farm
sales
Retail
sales 1/
Accommo-
dations 2/
Entertain-
ment
Other
Farms ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
2000 28 30 83 29 27 8 8 126
2003 34 30 103 38 33 8 6 187
Value ($1,000) ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
2000 5,875 353 8,444 6,700 2,252 775 1,644 26,043
2003 5,019 1,177 13,479 9,083 2,490 1,061 1,560 33,869

1/ Products from other farms or souvenir items. 2/ Bed and breakfast, meeting rooms, etc. 3/ Unduplicated total number of farms.


Most ag-tourism operations plan to maintain or expand activities in the future
Seventy-nine percent of all ag-tourism operations in 2003 were planning to maintain or expand their operations in the future. Only 4 percent, or 8 farms, of the total indicated that they will discontinue or reduce their ag-tourism activities in the future. The 2003 Ag-tourism survey also showed that flower and/or nursery operations remained the most popular type of ag-tourism operation. Coffee and fruit farms were tied at a distant second.


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Year Future ag-tourism plans Total
Expand ag-tourism activities Remain at
current level
Discontinue or reduce
ag-tourism activities
Uncertain
? Number of ag-tourism farms
2000 60 41 7 18 126
2003 61 86 8 32 187
Year Type of farm 1/ Total
Fruit Vegetable Coffee Macadamia
nut
Flower/ Nursery Livestock Other
? Number of ag-tourism farms
2000 12 8 25 5 35 30 11 126
2003 30 18 30 14 38 26 31 187

1/ A predominate commodity was designated for farms reporting more than one commodity.


Additional features of Hawaii’s 2003 ag-tourism industry


Busiest time of the year. . .slightly more than half, 51 percent, of the operations that reported ag- tourism activity in 2003 said that business was the same year round. Of the remaining responses, winter and summer were identified as the most significant peak periods, at 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Spring came in at 4 percent and fall at 2 percent.- Where do ag-tourism visitors come from?. . .mainland visitors constituted the highest percentage of ag-tourism visitors, at 53 percent, followed by Hawaii residents at 35 percent, and international visitors at 12 percent.?

Problems faced by ag-tourism operators. . .farmers were asked to rank problems or obstacles they faced in start-up or operation of ag-tourism activities. Funding was ranked as the number one problem, followed by conflicts/interference with on-going farm activities. Marketing was the third most common problem, and liability issues and insurance was fourth. Other problems ranking in order were zoning restrictions, labor, building permits, signage restrictions and community/cultural oppositions.

Point of sale…many operations received orders for products related to ag-tourism after the visitors returned home. Out of these, 74 percent of operations reported 0-25 percent of their sales from off-site orders, 21 percent of operations reported 26 to 50 percent, and 5 percent said that over 50 percent of their ag-tourism related sales came from off-site orders.


The Hawaii Agricultural Statistics office conducted a special survey of Hawaii’s farmers to obtain the results used in this report. We appreciate the cooperation of Hawaii’s agricultural producers who completed the survey questionnaire. A special note of thanks goes to the Agricultural Development Division of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources for their support on this project.


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