Agritourism offers opportunities for development of rural areas, job creation, boosting local economy, and recreational activities. Government authorities and farmers from Asia, Africa, and North America regions took various initiatives to promote the agritourism sector in different parts in their regions. They allocated budgets and resources to attract tourists and boost the local economy. In addition, they created smartphone apps to connect tourists with farmers and ranch owners. Moreover, the app facilitates the search of different agritourism destinations for tourists.
From offering detailed information about organic food growth activities to selling directly to consumers, farmers have been tapping on lucrative opportunities. The firm tours have been arranged and fresh food and vegetables have been offered. There will be a significant increase in agritourism activities in the next few years. According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global agritourism market is expected to reach $62.98 billion by 2027.
Following are some of the major activities taking place to promote agritourism across the world.
Allocation of budgets and stocks
Government authorities have been taking steps to promote agritourism activities in their counties, districts, and regions. From allocating budgets to stocks, different initiatives have been taken by provincial tourism departments. An agritourism farm has been inaugurated in Ramian county, northern Golestan province in Iran. The province allocated the budget of 160 billion rials ($608,000) for development of the farm in one hectare. Moreover, it generated job opportunities for five people. In the farm, there are daffodil farms, medicinal plant gardens, fruit trees, and reception hall.
Along with allocation of budgets for development of farms and promotion of agritourism activities, governments have been offering startup stock to farmers. The Botswana government began a pilot project in which it aims to provide wildlife startup stock for farmers. This stock will be kept in ploughing fields of farmers. Kabelo Senyatso, the Director at Botswana’s National Parks and Wildlife, outlined that the stock of five animals per species will be allocated to each farmer. The farmers who are willing to adopt the stock need to meet space, fencing, and water requirements for availing the species they want. As Botswana is one of leading tourism destinations in Africa, this initiative is expected to boost the local economy by providing resources to attract agritourists.
New app to promote agritoursm destinations
Government authorities and foundations have been trying to utilize technology to connect tourists with farmers, ranch owners, and growers. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture created an app to showcase agritourism venues and activities. The foundation developed the American Farm Trail app with the sponsorship from Corteva. Farmers and venue owners can create their profile on the app and connect with tourists directly. Tourists can search the area they want to explore through app. Moreover, the search filters in the app enable tourists to search farm products, attraction, and activities. This app is an effort by the foundation to connect tourists directly with agritourism businesses. Moreover, the agritourism businesses will be benefited by promoting their businesses and gaining access directly to consumers.
“Fresh from farm” experience
Trips to the farms are not available for tourists and there are very few places where consumers can buy fruits and vegetables straight from farmers. However, farmers from Marayoor and Kanthalloor regions of Idukki district in Kerala, India aim to change this. The tremendous fruits, sugarcane, and vegetable fields in the district have been emerging as tourist destinations. Farmers, tour guides, and operators began offering agricultural tours to tourists. In addition, they demonstrate how the traditional and delicious Marayoor jaggery is prepared, how vegetables grow organically, and other planting activities. In addition, tourists can taste fruits such as strawberries straight from the plant and determine the quality of the fruit before purchasing.
As new agritourism initiatives increase in the state of Kerala, farmers and growers are able to earn significant profits by selling directly to their consumers. This “fresh from farm” experience offer quality products to tourists and boost the local economy. Such initiatives are on rise, and more districts in the state and the country will take strides in providing farming experience to visitors and organizing the “direct to consumer” events to sell high-quality food straight from farms.