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Experiences are Everything

Studies have shown that people are moving towards experiences over things with their disposable income, https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/new-study-finds-most-consumers-prefer-experiences-over-things-101519.html . More and more, consumers are wanting to create memories and try new things. For Agritourism businesses such as farms and tourism operators, this is potential for big growth in profit.

In order to provide these experiences, businesses are investing in creating deep connections with their customers by offering authentic, personalized experiences.




How are they doing this? Here is a small list of successful Agritourism ideas:


U-pick produce

There is something so gratifying about picking juicy berries off the plant. It makes the food taste even better when you get home and cook it fresh for dinner. Being in the dirt and the sun and fresh air is a privilege that so many don't have, and are willing to pay for.


Wagon/sleigh rides

Who doesn't love rides. Cuddling up in a blanket with a nice cup of cider and riding though the snow or yellow leaves of autumn. You could pair it with a food truck, local hot drink or concert.


Mazes and gardens

Constructing mazes, beautiful flower gardens, herb gardens or even walking paths with outdoor art displays will attract tourists. Collaborating with local artists will make the experience even more unique.





Events

Annual festivals, concerts or themed markets can be a huge draw, especially if they are times for off-season. Capitalize on what you already have going on, and see the potential in the simple things. Evening marshmallow roasts in the fall under the stars, or romantic evening dances to live music might be just enough to draw out city dwellers.


Venues (weddings, parties etc.)

Renting out your space for events can be an easy way to increase your revenues. Whether it be a wedding or corporate retreat, converting an old barn or even designing meeting rooms in your existing facilities for times that they would otherwise be vacant can create an almost passive income.


Accommodations

On-site accommodations can vary from sleeping under the starts, to out-door glamping to constructing cabins or summer camps, to collaborating with a neighbouring bed and breakfast to create themed packages. When all of the details have been taken care of for a tourist, it becomes much easier to sell them on the experience.



On farm dining

Farm to table meals are a huge attraction. They can be provided regularly through an onsite restaurant, or as special events throughout the year, ie: Fall harvest dinner or an annual summer picnic featuring pre-packed gourmet bagged lunches and local wine. Feature a local chef or collaborate with local restaurants, bakeries or breweries.


Recreation

Incorporating recreational infrastructure into your business like hiking or cross-country skiing trails, skating loops, sliding hills or zip-lines will adds a whole new dimension to your business.


Agri-education

Schools, Boy Scouts/Girl Guides, organized groups and families alike are eager to take classes, courses and workshops. Naturalist walks, on-farm processing, how-to.... the list is endless.





Petting Zoos

Having animals on-site is a major draw, especially when they are comfortable and can be observed in their home space. Simply having benches or straw bales for people to sit and watch them, or a farm hand to regular 'talks' around the farm would create an 'event' out of something that already exists.


Tours

No matter your business - a brewery, farm, weaving loom, camp ground... people want to see behind the curtain. Doing equipment demos or themed walks will help but your business on the map.


Consider the possibilities and look to your neighbours. Register for the Agritourism Innovation Challenge here.

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