Agritourism is perhaps the fastest growing sector when it comes to the industry of ecotourism in Australia. It offers the wonderful opportunity to harmonise with nature by enjoying the real or authentic experience of the countryside instead of seeing it via a guided tour. It also provides a chance to delight one’s taste buds with some mouthwatering local cuisine prepared from fresh produce.
Places offering farm house accommodation in Victoria are more like natural gateways for those who just wish to evade city life and fall back into the arms of nature. That is what agritourism is about, more or less – ‘seeking sunshine and relaxation in a beautiful countryside.
The purview of agritourism varies significantly depending on the available land, type of farm and what extent of the business is focused on the market. However, the varying types can be classified into three fundamental groups:
1. Direct-market agritourism
One of the most popular instances of this form is a roadside produce stand. Farmers sell a wide range of goods such as produce, organic products and canned items directly to customers either at fairs and markets or on the farm itself. The sales are generally made along with other offerings of agritourism. Although farmers sell the same things that can be found in local grocery stores, their products have the extra appeal of being directly available from the farm. For appealing to some customers, the goods might even be marketed as all-natural and organic products.
2. Experience and Education Agritourism
This form includes groves of apples that can be handpicked, bed and breakfast facilities, farm tours and packages meant for providing city dwellers hands-on experience about life on a working farm. Whether the tourists pay for picking their own produce, enjoying their stay in a farmhouse accommodation or attending wine tastings, the experience that they draw is always first hand. Once the visitors become acquainted with the working farm closely, they also feel inclined to purchase its organic products.
3. Event and Recreation Agritourism
While this form is still regarded as agritourism, its offerings generally involve utilising the farm land for various other marketable purposes. Events like corn mazes, harvest festivals, country weddings and spooky hayrides are held on the land. Different recreational activities such as archery, camping and horse riding are also made available for tempting guests into buying organic items produced on the farm.
Once a strong connection has been established between the farm and the consumer, it can easily forge long-term relationships.