Exploring the Spatial Networks of Sustainable Agritourism in the Municipalities of Utuado, Ciales, Florida, and Jayuya, Puerto Rico
As climate change continues to escalate natural hazards around the globe, certain communities feel the impacts of these disasters more so than others. After Hurricane Maria devastated communities in 2017, Puerto Rico struggled to respond to the needs of its citizens, particularly those in rural areas. Many of the regions affected did not have resilient community structures in place to be able to withstand the systemic ripple effects of the hurricane. However, various community endeavors have developed post-Hurricane Maria to foster community collaboration and resiliency, including the development of agricultural tourism, otherwise known as agritourism. <br/>Although agritourism has begun to develop in rural regions of Puerto Rico, including the municipalities of Utuado, Ciales, Florida, and Jayuya, a systems-understanding is lacking of the current agritourism situation in the region and its related capacities, limitations, and opportunities of agritourism. To address this gap, a spatially explicit understanding and map of the underlying tourism infrastructure is needed to support the development of sustainable agritourism in Utuado, Jayuya, Ciales, and Florida municipalities in Puerto Rico. <br/>This report spatially represents the current state of tourism opportunities in the region as a result of asking “What are the spatial networks of gastronomy, accommodations, farms, and attractions that support the development of agritourism in Utuado, Jayuya, Ciales and Florida municipalities in Puerto Rico?” Three steps lead to the spatial representation starting with developing a comprehensive inventory. Second, we visualize the spatial map through Google Maps. Lastly, we explore the larger context of the report through an ArcGIS Storymap. The inventory will help with better understanding the number and variety of tourism resources available. The spatial visualization will help with understanding the distribution of resources and explore potential connections between resources and what relationships could be fostered in the future. Lastly, the ArcGIS Storymap will serve as a framework for outlining the future development of the SARE project. Overall, this report outlines the spatial maps of tourism resources and provides a tool to be used by community partners, tourists, and project partners.