Marketing 101 for your agritourism business
Agritourism is the business of establishing farms as travel destinations for educational and recreational purposes. It has been estimated that 62 million American adults visited farms in 2000 (Barry and Hellerstein, 2004). Driven by this consumer interest, growing numbers of farmers across the United States are embracing agritourism to improve their economic viability. Farm businesses are incorporating a wide range of innovative activities including on-farm direct marketing, entertainment, farm accommodations, outdoor recreation, and educational programming to better manage financial risk by diversifying product lines and generating additional farm revenue. These activities can also help build a culture of understanding between farmers and non-farm neighbors and promote appreciation of agriculture within the community.
For many traditional agricultural producers, however, agritourism represents an entirely new business model. Transitioning from a wholesale business or an enterprise engaged in only limited direct marketing into a full-fledged hospitality and service business necessitates new approaches to marketing. This fact sheet explains the fundamentals of sound marketing and offers marketing strategies for making your farm a more appealing, welcoming, and well-known visitor destination.