The new Strategy was launched at the Scottish Agritourism Conference on 10th November, setting out a shared vision for the sector; one that aims to sustainably develop the rural economy, protect family farms for future generations, build consumer awareness and loyalty towards local produce and celebrate the history and heritage of these important Scottish communities. The strategy, which will be supported by a staged action plan, includes a collaborative approach from the public and private sectors both in Scotland and internationally.
Other objectives include attracting and retaining a skilled, committed and diverse workforce, creating and promoting a thriving and responsible sector and increasing the number of real working farms that offer a food and drink experience. With growing consumer interest in food provenance and sustainable tourism, it is hoped the strategy will position agritourism at the forefront of visitors’ minds when seeking ways to enjoy, appreciate and understand the best of Scotland’s natural larder.
The blending of agriculture and tourism to create days out and holiday experiences on traditional working farms has become a growing consumer trend in Scotland with an increasing number of farms, crofts and estates diversifying their operations to attract visitors, such as offering seasonal events that aim to educate and inspire visitors about life on a working farm. There are currently around 500 businesses operating in the sector.