Agritourism is something you have most likely never heard of, but you may have experienced nevertheless!
Whether it’s feeding the animals at your local farm, taking a boat tour down the river, or even dancing the night away in a barn at your local harvest festival, agritourism is all about going back to basics and the joys of the simple life.
With eco-friendly vacations becoming the hot new ticket, sustainable adventure tourism is an ever-growing enterprise attracting more and more people who want to get closer to nature and understand where their local produce comes from.
So, what exactly is agritourism?
Agritourism literally combines agriculture and tourism with travel and sustainability through activities that take place on agricultural lands, such as working farms.
It usually involves slower, leisurely activities that allow vacationers to understand the land and the people who live on it.
With people actively looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle, this type of vacation opens the door for rural operations to increase profits while creating a fun day out or a cheaper, environmentally friendly holiday for eco-conscious travellers.
Apart from the sustainability benefits, it also offers financial, educational, and social benefits to the local communities.
The best part is that everyone can enjoy an agritourism adventure, as it doesn’t have to be an extravagant, expensive trip.
Something as simple as pumpkin picking in the autumn or having a mosey through a village farmer’s market makes a difference.
It’s the perfect getaway for solo-adventurers right through to large families (most of the time including the four-legged members too).
Finding your next escape
Planning an agritourism trip can be super easy – with the help of handy Mr. Google, of course!
With a wide variety of options available and with every activity offering a unique experience, rest assured you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Farm tours are probably the most well-known activity in the sector and a great way to experience farm life in a safe environment.
Check out the Emirates Bio Farm for a fun day with the family involving tractor tours, harvesting your own veggies, and a fresh meal overlooking the desert dunes in an Arabian tent.
If you’re looking to dive into agritourism for more than just one day – don’t worry – there are some really cool and unique stays available!
Italy, Slovenia, France, Greece, and Portugal are amongst the most popular agritourism destinations in Europe, providing unforgettable immersive experiences.
Their countryside is dotted with plenty of B&B’s, farm stays, vineyards, and ranches that allow you to make a weekend or longer holiday out of your new rural adventure.
So, how about spending a weekend in a Shepherd’s hut or a night wild camping on a mountain? Whether it’s a morning walk or week-long stay, there are plenty of things you can get up to with agritourism:
- Horse Riding
- Farmer’s markets
- Camping or glamping
- Rock climbing
- Tree planting
- Art shows
- Harvest festivals
- Petting Farms
- Country shows
- Pumpkin picking
- Flower shows
- Wilderness experiences
And so many more!
Why is agritourism important?
Apart from the tons of fun, awesome recreational activities, and rejuvenating nature reunion, agritourism also offers multiple benefits to the communities involved:
- It’s a great way of supporting your local businesses and farmers. Farming can be tricky at the best of times, and farmers often struggle to make a steady income; agritourism provides a new source of income to those offering the activity. It also allows them to have seasonal flexibility and supplement their income depending on the time of year. If they are quieter in the winter, a pick-your-own veggies experience may allow them to make up for any losses they would have had.
- It benefits the public. Agritourism allows the public to see what goes on behind the scenes at their local farm. Even more so now than ever, people like to know where their produce is coming from. Agritourism provides an opportunity for complete transparency between farmers and their customers.
- It’s educational. School and family trips allow children (and adults) to get out of their urban comfort zone and learn more about agriculture. Through agritourism, kids can learn where products come from, explore the history of a place, understand their roots, and even get hands-on experience from fruit picking to feeding lambs.
- It’s great for the community. Agritourism helps create better relationships between communities and their local farmers, increases community awareness and boosts the local economy.
- It has considerable benefits for the planet. Whether you go five minutes down the road or take a three-hour car journey, you are still being kinder to the planet by not jetting off 3000 miles. Small landowners and farmers are often very sustainable, so supporting agritourism by visiting more eco-friendly places is a good way of supporting sustainability as a whole!
If you can travel whilst being responsible, what’s not to like?
With the agritourism industry growing around the world, the UAE has also jumped in on the action.
You can now get access to 23 UAE farms that have opened their doors to the public, so start planning your next staycation!
If you find yourself daydreaming about your next eco-friendly vacation, or you just want to get closer to nature, support your local farmers, and try something new — give agritourism a go!
From waking up to the smell of the wet earth and watching farms go about their day-to-day life to hiking across beautiful mountains or picking your favourite fruits, agritourism has something for everyone to enjoy all year round.
This form of sustainable adventure tourism is a perfect example of how we can live more sustainably without having to give up the things we love.
We can still venture out into the world and explore, learn new things, broaden our horizons, experience things we may never have had the opportunity to try before — and we get to do all of that, knowing we are actually contributing positively to the economy and small businesses.
Who knew travel and sustainability could work so well together!