Agritourism is associated with rising living standards, economic growth, and socio-cultural enhancement of rural areas. The agritourism market growth is driven by factors such as the strong demand for family oriented recreational activities provided at an economical cost as compared to other hotel packages. Moreover, the consumer demand for local food and experiences during the farm stay is resulting in increasing stakeholder interest. For instance, in the U.S., the Pennsylvania State Extension is planning to offer more resources for agritourism operators in the state and has developed a survey to understand driving and restraining factors controlling the agritourism market.
Many agritourism providers, along with the support of government officials are promoting agriculture in academic curriculums of schools and universities. For instance, graduates from the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture in the Philippines are currently involved in the research and development, and promotion of agriculture tourism destinations, such as the Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay. In 2017, the Maharashtra state in India held 328 agritourism centers, generating more than USD 7.2 million for the farming population. Moreover, the state hosted around 2.1 million tourists from 2015 to 2017.
Agritourism initiatives are majorly affected by changing national policies wherein tourism interventions help the agriculture sector to survive any economic restructuring of a country. For instance, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is responding to the Royal Thai Government initiative of increasing local community income by promoting agritourism. The initiative forms a significant part of TAT’s efforts on developing community based tourism in local destinations across Thailand.
Some of the key players operating in the agritourism market are Liberty Hill Farm; Blackberry Farm; Willow-Witt Ranch; Monteillet Fromagerie; Inn at Valley Farms; Harvest Fresh Farms; Wheatacre Barns, and Orange Grove Farm Robertson. Some of the strategies undertaken by the market players are product and service development using novel technology, market player partnership, and increased business investment. For instance, in August 2018, Florida Agritourism Association entered into a partnership with Visit Florida releasing a new mobile app that connects tourists with Florida’s agricultural estates. The app has an integrated network of ranches, vineyards, and farms that offer visit under the state’s agritourism offerings. The app allows users to browse venue information, navigate farms and pre-book events.
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