According to the book, “Cultivating Agritourism: Tools and Techniques for Building Success” Agritourism is “travel that combines agricultural or rural settings with products of agricultural operations – all within a tourism experience that is paid for by visitors”.
Agritourism could be something as simple as offering Bird watching or wildlife viewing in your fields or pasture or having a visitor sitting in a combine, even offering farm or ranch work experience. All of these are relatively simple and don’t need additional investment from your business. Alternatively Agritourism could be a little more dynamic and include things such as Rock Climbing, Tee Pee Building, Wagon rides, hosting a children’s camp or a Petting Zoo.
Lastly there are events we often do not associate with Agritourism: community festivals, agricultural fairs, rodeos, U-Pick operations and farmers’ markets. All of these can be considered Agritourism even though they often aren’t.
One recent trend and growing market is women wanting a ‘girls night or weekend out’. Maybe there’s an opportunity to develop this theme into a tourism package. This could include a project oriented weekend, with an opportunity to do some in-house shopping, perhaps offering a “spa” package.
Another great example of Agritourism in Manitoba is a florist who offered a flower U-Pick. One of their products caters to families, they pick and put together a bouquet and give that bouquet to someone special. Adding meaning and an experience to what would otherwise be store bought arrangement.
We, in Manitoba, are very fortunate to have the opportunity that we do. Many tourists seek refuge from the city life, a nice getaway to see the sights and sounds and experiences that our communities have to offer, and to visit with other guests as well as the local community. All of this combines to create an experience that can’t be offered anywhere else, this is a ‘real’ experience.