ⓘ Blog | Agritourism - agriculture in society. Agritourism or agrotourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally based operation or activity that ..



Agritourism or agrotourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. Agritourism has different definitions in different parts of the world, and sometimes refers specifically to farm stays, as in Italy. Elsewhere, agritourism includes a wide variety of activities, including buying produce direct from a farm stand, navigating a corn maze, slopping hogs, picking fruit, feeding animals, or staying at a bed and breakfast on a farm. Agritourism activities fall within at least one of the five categories of agritourism, and they may span multiple categories. The five categories are: direct-to-consumer sales, agricultural education, hospitality, recreation, and entertainment.

Agritourism is a form of niche tourism that is considered a growth industry in many parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, the United States, and the Philippines. Other terms associated with agritourism are "agritainment", "value added products", "farm direct marketing" and "sustainable agriculture".


1. Public awareness

People have become more interested in how their food is produced. They want to meet farmers and processors and talk with them about what goes into food production. For many people who visit farms, especially children, the visit marks the first time they see the source of their food, be it a dairy cow, an ear of corn growing in a field, or an apple they can pick right off a tree.

Farmers and ranchers use this interest to develop traffic at their farm or ranch, and interest in the quality of their products, as well as awareness of their products.


2. Safety

While revenue and education are often primary drivers for farmers to diversify and invite guests onto their property, safety isnt always a top priority. Accidents involving tractors, wagon rides, trips, falls, and traffic occur at agritourism operations on a regular basis. Data and specific cases of agrotourism-related injuries are tracked and stored by researchers and scientists. Some of this data is available at publicly accessible sites such as


3. Economic Benefits

Agricultural tourism has become a necessary means for many small farms’ survival. By diversifying business operations, farm operators are able to ensure a more stable income. This is because agritourism activities can occur during times of the year that crops may not be in season, and by providing a completely separate stream of income. Some studies have found that agritourism operations often benefit their surrounding communities by drawing tourists to the area. The economic boost by the increase in traffic can be beneficial to rural areas in need of diversified streams of income.


4.1. Agrotourism in various countries Latvia

Agrotourism in Latvia is a popular international tourist destination with many farming tours available such as grain, vegetable, fruit, dairy, and livestock. The farms display the lifestyles and work of active farmers, farming processes, farm products, and the opportunities and positive aspects of a life in the countryside. Tourists can learn how food is made from the field to the final product whilst also engaging in harvesting if possible. Some tours focus on traditional local Latvian cuisine such as cottage cheese, buckwheat, seaberry buckthorn, caraway cheese, dark rye bread and cured meats. Brewing beer is also widely popular with plenty of breweries producing a wide array of beer types. In addition, farms are gaining popularity that promote and teaches the way Latvians traditionally used to live and farm their produce.


4.2. Agrotourism in various countries Italy

The country-hotel scene has come on apace since 1960, when the Michelin guide to Italy listed not a single establishment in the Chianti area. But even after the boom in rural accommodation in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the choice was still limited, by and large, to basic agroturismo farm-holiday places or rather stuffy country-house hotels. The past few years have seen the arrival of a handful of stylish luxury spa resorts, and some mid-range options where guests benefit from a hands-on, personal approach.

Since 1985 agritourism in Italy is formally regulated by a state law, emended in 2006. The law states basic requirements to claim the title of "agriturismo", and delegates single regions to further regulate the matter.

Italian agritourism attract visitors from all around the globe. In particular, given the luxury nature of rural tourism, international flows are demand-driven.


4.3. Agrotourism in various countries Turkey

In the province of Hatay, The village of Vakifli has a small eco and cultural tourism industry, as it is often touted as the last rural village in Turkey where Armenians live. The small village has a guest house where visitors can buy organic products and see the life of the village. There is potential for ecotourism in the Aegean area of Western Turkey as well, and is a growing industry there.


4.4. Agrotourism in various countries United States

Agritourism is widespread in the United States. Agritourists can choose from a wide range of activities that include picking fruits and vegetables, riding horses, tasting honey, learning about wine and cheesemaking, or shopping in farm gift shops and farm stands for local and regional produce or hand-crafted gifts.

According to the USDA Cooperative State, Education and Extension Service, "Tourism is becoming increasingly important to the U.S. economy. A conservative estimate from the Federal Reserve Board in Kansas, based on 2000 data, shows that basic travel and tourism industries accounted for 3.6 percent of all U.S. employment. Even more telling, data from the Travel Industry Association of America indicate that 1 out of every 18 people in the U.S. has a job directly resulting from travel expenditures".

Through the Small Farm Center at the University of California, "Agricultural tourism or agritourism, is one alternative for improving the incomes and potential economic viability of small farms and rural communities. Some forms of agritourism enterprises are well developed in California, including fairs and festivals. Other possibilities still offer potential for development". The UC Small Farm Center has developed a California Agritourism Database that "provides visitors and potential entrepreneurs with information about existing agritourism locations throughout the state".

The publication Promoting Tourism in Rural America explains the need for planning and marketing a rural community and weighing the pros and cons of tourism. According to the publication, local citizen participation is helpful and should be included in starting any kind of a tourism program. Citizen participation in planning tourism can contribute to building a successful program that enhances the community. Additional websites that promote and publicize agritourism in the United States include Rural Bounty, founded by agritourism consultant Jane Eckert, Farm Stay U.S., a nationwide directory of farm stays, and The Farm Stay Project, a blog that profiles farm stays and tracks agritourism news.


4.5. Agrotourism in various countries United Kingdom

The UK has seen an increase in Agro tourism as farmers diversify their income streams. Attractions range from accommodation on farms to dedicated farm parks where visitors can interact with animals, attend talks and children can take part in farm based play. Farm parks are sometimes small petting zoos in cities whilst others are areas within working farms set aside as areas for the public. The UK has an industry group for Agro tourism called National Farm Attractions Network who issue best practice information and certification to members.

In the county of Cornwall there are many Agro tourism attractions including the petting zoo at Lands End, Dairy world in New quay and Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm near the capital Truro.


5. Dude ranches

Dude or guest ranches offer tourists the chance to work on cattle ranches, and sometimes participate in cattle drives.

The fact sheet, Promoting the Farm and Ranch Recreation Business, gives farmers and ranchers information on marketing and developing strategies to win tourism dollars. Dude ranches are common in the United States and Australian Outback.

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