Measuring Labor Productivity and Market Viability of Rural Tourism Activities in Japan
Pp. 155-167 (13)
This paper evaluated diversified rural tourism activities from the perspectives of economic viability and
endogenous utilization of rural resources and investigated labour productivity of eight rural tourism activities. First, we
presented a conceptual framework on how to evaluate economic viability and the endogenous mobilization of rural
resources. Second, we empirically evaluated economic viability, the supply shift effect of endogenous utilization of
rural resources and labour productivity with regard to rural tourism. The main findings are as follows. First,
examination of the three main activities, i.e. accommodation, restaurant operation and direct selling of farm products,
showed that both full-time and part-time labour input contributed more effectively to better annual sales in those three
activities than in the other activities examined, such as farm experience services. This means that those activities are
viable whereas activities that provide farming experience services did not show evidence of a viable farm business.
Second, we could not confirm the supply shift effect of endogenous innovative use of rural resources. Overall, we
found that rural tourism in this country is undersupplied at a social optimal level. In the long run, institutional
conditions for market formation and management skills for endogenous innovation in utilization of rural resources
should be more intensely developed as a part of rural resource management policy.
Rural tourism, farm diversification, labour productivity, production elasticity, multifunctionality of
agriculture, market viability, rural resource management.
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Chiba University, Matsudo, Chiba, 271-8510, Japan