Agritourism offers an opportunity to diversify your farm, croft or estate business and to add value to an existing tourism or food enterprise.
More and more customers are looking to add to their experiences when visiting rural areas whether visiting farm shops, cafés or engaging in new experiences. It also helps keep visitors in the local area longer, extending stays by providing activities and facilities.
Agritourism represents a growth opportunity for the National Park’s rural and visitor economy and is a growing consumer trend in Scotland amongst farming enterprises looking to diversify their operations. Agritourism settings provide a better connection for visitors to understand the land, demonstrating where their food comes from and offering truly immersive and authentic experiences.
Consumers are taking more of an interest in where their food comes from and more people are looking to stay and travel domestically. There is so much opportunity here for farms to diversify operations to generate an additional source of revenue to support business growth. The additional visitor ‘products’ also provides an economic boost to rural communities by attracting tourists from urban areas, benefiting other local businesses such as cafes, restaurants, activity providers and tour operators.
In recent years, the trend towards staycations, popularity of self-catering accommodation and ‘slow travel’ experiences (enjoying a holiday at a slower pace and visitors immersing themselves more in the destination) all fit perfectly with what Agritourism can offer. Additionally, research suggests that many visitors are also mindful of their environmental impact and emissions through choice of destination and type of holiday. Agritourism businesses can benefit from this by providing sustainable accommodation and other operations which reflect the businesses ‘green’ credentials and enable visitors to effectively be involved in nature.
Over the coming years, the National Park will focus on nature restoration, tackling climate change and supporting tourism to play a part in a sustainable future for the area. Agritourism businesses can therefore play their part towards these objectives by adopting sustainable operations and responding to the increased consumer demand for eco-conscious decisions when planning their holidays.
Typical types of Agritourism activities include: