ACDI/VOCA celebrated World Environment Day on June 5, 2020, by hosting the webinar “What Is Rural Tourism? Opportunities for Development.” The live event featured agritourism experts David Visher and Penny Leff. It was moderated by Thelonious Trimmell, ACDI/VOCA Senior Agribusiness Advisor and former Chief of Party.

The event considered how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted traditional tourism by constraining travelers’ ability to gather in large groups. The discussion highlighted small group rural tourism as a safer alternative, moving forward. Our discussants examined rural tourism and outlined how it can equip communities to prosper economically. The panelists also discussed how host communities can prepare to leverage this promising change.

David Visher is a seasoned Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer, completing 17 assignments in 12 countries, among other accomplishments in academia and with NGOs.

Penny Leff is the statewide Agritourism Coordinator with the University of California Cooperative Extension.

Additional Resources

Access a recording of the event here.

Access Penny Leff’s PowerPoint presentation here.

Learn more about agritourism in California here.

University of California- Agriculture and Natural Resources

ACDI/VOCA has been a leader in volunteer assistance since 1971, having mobilized over 12,000 professional volunteers to more than 130 countries. Learn more about volunteering with us here or contact Diana Shipman at