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 (B&B) on a farm.
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".
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.
While revenue and education are often primary drivers for farmers to diversify their operations and invite guests onto their property, safety isn't always a top priority. Accidents involving tractors, wagon rides, trips, falls, and traffic occur at agritourism operations on a regular basis.
Agritourism by country
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 Latvian's traditionally used to live and farm their produce.
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.
Since 2004 Agriculture Tourism is operational, it started in Baramati Agri Tourism Center under the guidance of Pandurang Taware. He received the National Tourism Award from the President Of India, for the most innovative Tourism Product. Agri Tourism India (ATDC) is pioneer in the development and marketing of agri tourism concept in India. ATDC, as of 2014, has 218 affiliated farmers and operates agri tourism center in their respective villages in the state of Maharashtra.
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.
- Jucker Farm in Seegräben, a canton of Zürich
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.
The Agri-Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan (ATDCP) is a non-government, not-for-profit organization, aiming to connect people through food, farms and education, working to promote Agritourism idea in Pakistan. ATDCP educates consumers about an organic, healthy life style, raises awareness about food from "farm to dining table", and introduces agri-tourism & entertainment farming to explore the beauty of agri fields and farm-fresh feelings.
ATDCP also works as a training institute for Agripreneurs, where the latter are trained in consumer organic style needs. ATDCP introduces a new breed of Agripreneurs to the business of agri-tourism & entertainment farming for agricultural students and the farming community. It organises agricultural events, agri-themed festivals, agri-field trips and field activities, agri-field picnic parties for school kids and for the community to explore agritourism ideas in Pakistan. Tariq Tanveer is the CEO & founder.
In the county of Cornwall there are many Agritourism attractions including the petting zoo at Land's End, Dairyworld in Newquay and Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm near the capital Truro.
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.
- Biuso, Emily (November 23, 2007). "Down on the Farm With Your Sleeves Rolled Up". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
Though most agritourists simply spend an afternoon visiting farm stands, picking fruit, or feeding animals, others might stay on a farm for several days. Depending on the farm, they might have the opportunity to help with farm or ranch chores, contributing to tasks ranging from planting crops to building greenhouses.
- The Hollow Log Country Retreat. "Accommodation, Tours, Farmstay, B&B Options in Regional Australia". Agritourism Australia. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
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- Law N. 96, year 2006
- "Find a farm, orchard, ranch, winery, csa, & family fun". Rural Bounty. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
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- "Agritourism Davis, California: University of California, Small Farm Center". December 30, 2008.
- "California Agritourism Database Davis, California: University of California, Small Farm Center". Archived from the original on January 15, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
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- "Farm Stay US". Farm Stay US. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- Daniels Barb Jeff Powell and Susan Rottman (December 2001). "Agricultural Tourism: Promoting the Farm and Ranch Recreation Business University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. Bulletin #B-1125-2" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 16, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Agritourism.|Media related to Agrotourism at Wikimedia Commons
- "Agritourism Safety - Integrating Safety into Agritourism". Integrating Safety into Agritourism. Retrieved 2016-02-18., an online resource developed by the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS) in 2007.
- OTR/L, Robin Tutor-Marcom MPH; RN, Annette Greer PhD MSN; PhD, Maria Clay; Ellis, Tammy; Thompson, Tami; MPH, Esther Seisay Adam-Samura (2013-04-01). "Qualitative Assessment of Agritourism Safety Guidelines: A Demonstration Project". Journal of Agromedicine. 18 (2): 107–116. doi:10.1080/1059924X.2013.766146. ISSN 1059-924X. PMID 23540301.