Due to the COVID-19-pandemic, agritourism enterprises experienced significant disruptions in how they could operate. When some state governments’ required capacity reductions for visitors, traditionally profitable events, such as school field trips and weddings, were cancelled. Where on-farm events were permitted, farm operators needed to manage crowds safely.
Agritourism operators developed timed, ticketed entry systems to manage the flow of visitors. These systems were often mediated by online platforms. By restricting visitor capacity, farm operators could better allocate resources to create safe conditions for visitors.
Timed, ticketed entry shifted visitor traffic to less attended weekdays and the nonpeak season. With more evenly distributed crowds, farm operators could focus on maintaining a safe environment. Overall, the ticketing innovation helped build and maintain trust between agritourism operators and their visitors – both new and long-time. Additionally, digital platforms allowed farms to access useful data on visitor characteristics, which is helping with long-term customer engagement.