From truffle festivals to oyster and mussel farms, to providores and farm-stay accommodation, regional and rural Australia is awash with authentic agritourism experiences.
Traditionally thought of as being simply farm stays and winery visits, the term agritourism now encompasses a wide variety of activities where agriculture and tourism intersect. Essentially, ‘agritourism’ is the act of going to a region to visit a farm or food-related business (including restaurants, markets/events, produce outlets and natural attractions) for enjoyment, education, or to participate in activities and events.
Approximately 1.8 million domestic and international tourists visit Australian farms in 2015-16, and this has been growing by approximately 9% each year. The sector is currently worth approximately $9.4 billion per annum. This economic benefit is particularly relevant to Australia because it occurs in regions that really need it.
There is currently no National Policy or strategy on agritourism in Australia. A strategy would help to gain agreement on what it is, what opportunities it offers and what could be done to make more in this area.
Australian Regional Tourism is proposing to partner with the likes of the National Farmers Federation, the Australian Local Government Association and Regional Australia Institute to deliver the next major ART project on agritourism.
The aim of this project is to:
Reinvigorate regional and rural communities through the sustainable and holistic development of agritourism product and experiences that encourage greater visitor dispersal.
The objectives of this project will be to:
- Develop a national strategy for agritourism in Australia that:
– Summarises the directions needed to sustainably grow the sector
– Define the barriers constraining farmers and regions from developing agritourism
– Identify and share practical solutions where barriers have been overcome
– Define the product gaps in the market
- Design and build capacity building tools to inspire farmers, help them determine their involvement in agritourism and assist them to develop competitive and sustainable agritourism product by:
- Developing case studies demonstrating the diversity and innovation of agritourism
- Developing guidelines
- Developing monitoring tools
- Providing a central point of contact for ongoing advice
- Raise the profile of agritourism among target markets through communications and marketing
Boosting Regional Australia through Agritourism discussion paper, launched 17th October 2018, is available to all financial members of ART. You can sign up for ART membership here or contact ART Executive Officer for further information.
Boosting Regional Australia through Agritourism Executive Summary