This paper examines the development of farm-based tourism in the less favoured area of the northern Pennines. Farm tourism is conceptualized as an alternative farm enterprise (AFE) comprising one of seven possible `pathways of farm business developmentâ��. As such, the development of farm-based tourism (FBT) is influenced by a range of factors both external and internal to the farm. Lower levels of family labour distinguish tourist AFE farms from non-tourist AFE farms, while different types of FBT are associated with particular farm and household characteristics. Nevertheless, the reasons for adopting tourist enterprises are diverse and often very individualistic. Institutional involvement in FBT in the study area is increasing, but it is reactive rather than proactive and tends to constrain as well as enable the development of farm tourism. Few farmers have contacted institutions about new or existing farm tourism enterprises. However, levels of inter-agency networking are increasing and a core of eight institutions is now dominating institutional behaviour towards AFEs and FBT in the northern Pennines, especially in Northumberland. More research is needed on the interactions between farm households and institutions in the development of FBT.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Regional Studies, 32 (4), 1998, © Informa Plc