Agri-Tourism Development Workshop David Beurle, Innovative Leadership McKenzie River Valley April 2011
Agri-Tourism Development WorkshopProgram Overview:• What is Agri-Tourism – market segments• Global and macro trends and impact• Case-studies; the good, the bad and the ugly• Potential in MRV Territory?• Local issues and constraints• Business and industry planning• Where to from here?
A reality check….• Agri-Tourism can be successful and rewarding.• But -there are more failures than successes in Agri-Tourism – why? – Survival motivation – Lack of required skills – Limited scale and capital – Poor understanding of sophisticated market – Lack of coherent strategy and cohesion• Rural Tourism Studio very important.
The source of observations and case-study material • A series of international study tours and site-visits • Work in North America • Travel Oregon’s long history and expertise in Tourism
What is it Agri-Tourism?Technically; “the act of visiting a working farm or anyagricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operation forenjoyment, education, or participation in the activities ofthe farm or operation”Also; (and importantly); connecting your farming operationand ‘products’ to a tourism operation or related regionalretail outlet.But; people are less likely to travel to McKenzie RiverValley for just an agri-Tourism experience; more likely tobe attracted by a ‘package’ of tourism opportunities.
What are you selling?• Experiences – Connection to nature / rural / outdoors – Romantic / Healthy / Quiet / Adventure – Educational / Learning• Goods – Food (local and retail) – Specialty products (oils / soaps) – Crafts /Artifacts / Art
Where do you sell it?• Farm based destination – ‘Value-add’ occurs on farm. – experience and goods only available ‘on-site’.• Regional / community destination – ‘Value-add’ occurs in regional context – somewhere in region or associated with region. – Experience and goods available in off-farm locations; but strongly connected to rural / agricultural context – generally only available within the specific region.
Pros and Cons Farm Destination Regional destinationExperienceGoods
Pros and Cons Farm Destination Regional destinationExperience •On-farm issues – liability and •Lot of work; complex organization; people in house but big premiums •Potential restrictions on •Difficult to quantify direct benefits activities •Subject to volatile economy •Often personality based and •Large scale – requires collaboration time demanding – in competition •Discerning customers (fussy) with mgt time •Build off other assets in region •Can be rewardingGoods •Can be difficult to extract •Can be expensive to support premium (except with capital •Chance of failure is higher intensive iconic wines /oils •Quality and consistency are key •Potential for saving out of value issues chain (cut out steps) •Difficult to compete with big •Easy to control reputation chains and alliances
Global trends in agriculture• Emerging power of retailers – access to unique consumer information and control over supply chains• Farm gate cost-price squeeze is universal.• Globalization removing most trade and investment barriers.• Fewer larger players exerting more control over the food chain.• The role of Government is changing – less support but more regulation in areas of food safety What does this means for Agri-Tourism?
Shifts in societal values• Concern about global climate change• Emerging new generational values• Health consciousness increasing – USA lagging• Desire for experienced-based activities• Stronger environmental awareness• Growing disconnect between urban and rural• Impact of economic meltdownWhat does this means for Agri-Tourism?
Increasing consumer awareness•Increase in demand for organics•Debate about GM (and bans)•Re-examination of food systems- energy costs•Slow Food movement – alternative perspective•Mad cow disease – altered trust factor•Food recalls – contamination concerns (China, USA)What does this means for Agri-Tourism?
Agri-Tourism in MRV Territory Group Discussion One
Case Studies around the world Success and failure
Lessons for MRV Territory Agri-Tourism Group Discussion Two
Small team work sessions Group Discussion Three