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Survey will help grow agritourism

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Survey will help grow agritourism

FARMS and estates across Dumfries and Galloway are being asked to take part in an annual census to help build a better understanding of what support is required to grow agritourism.

The research, undertaken by VisitScotland in partnership with Scottish Agritourism, looks to establish the size and scale of the industry.

It will not just look at those currently operating agritourism businesses but aims to include existing farming businesses that are considering adding agritourism to their operations. The results could help shape future support for those starting out in the sector.

Last year’s inaugural Scottish Agritourism Growth Tracker revealed that as well as the opportunity for strong economic growth, the industry played a key role in sustaining and creating rural jobs, supporting vital family employment, and providing equal and inclusive roles for men and woman across various ages and skill levels.

Agritourism in Scotland is defined as tourism or leisure on a farm or croft that produces food or offers holiday experiences.

In recent years, particularly during the pandemic, it has become a growing travel trend.

And last year’s Scottish Agritourism tracker suggested that the combined value of agritourism and farm retail in 2030 could be around a quarter of a billion pounds and support almost 10,000 full time jobs.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Agritourism in Scotland is an exciting sector, which is expanding and offers a wide range of benefits.”

 Caroline Millar, sector lead for Scottish Agritourism, added: “Half an hour of your time and your anonymous data will help to demonstrate the value that agritourism brings to Scotland’s economy and to your own local area. Your individual efforts will benefit all farmers and crofters in Scotland by showing collectively what we deliver and how the sector is performing on an annual basis.

“This is a critical time for the development of agritourism in Scotland as growing consumer demand meets an increasingly challenging future for the family farm or croft in a post Brexit world and in a turbulent economic climate.”

* The survey closes on July 3, to participate please visit: www.visitscotland.org/news/2022/agritourism-tracker-2022

 

 

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