Authors: Meghann Smith*, Montclair State University
Topics: Tourism Geography, Business Geography, Environment
Keywords: hard apple cider, cidery, tourism, Hudson Valley
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 6:20 PM
Room: Studio 1, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
Hard apple cider production is an emerging industry in apple-growing regions of the United States due to the growing popularity of local craft products in the alcoholic beverage industry. This study strives to understand how hard cideries may affect local product promotion, rural tourism, and agriculture’s economic viability in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Tourism is evolving towards travelling for experiential value; the hard cider industry can offer an authentic environmentally and historically significant experience. By identifying the consumers and their expectations, the possibilities for building tourism specifically surrounding products with regional significance expand significantly. In this study, seven hard cider producers in the Hudson Valley region were visited, and 305 customer surveys administered and analyzed. Study results suggest the most important factors influencing hard cider tourism were to experience something new, to learn about local products, and to support small/local/artisan businesses. Customers also showed a high willingness to travel for the product, and put great value into the experience of visiting a cidery. As shown by the inherent belief that locally produced products are of higher quality, consumers are willing to pay premium costs for local goods. This research demonstrates the economic potential for cideries to build on the recent examples of wineries and breweries in developing agritourism experiences, and the need for governmental agencies to support and promote local agriculture in the face of development pressures and global competition.