Many rural areas are rich in natural resources that lend themselves to development of tourism enterprises that assist with economic diversification. The study discussed here explored the motivations of small resource-based tourism operators in North Dakota. Data were collected from 27 tourism operators and analyzed using qualitative methods. Operators' motivations were diversification, personal recreational interests, taking advantage of environmental opportunities, helping keep children in the area, civic mindedness, and personal relationships with customers. Significant financial success was not a major motivation of the operators, so Extension personnel should develop ways to work with the non-business motivations found in the study.

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