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Farmers urged to help agritourism

HOW NOW BROWN COW: It is estimated Scottish agritourism could be worth £250 million by 2030.

Tourism chiefs are appealing to Scottish farmers and crofters to co-operate with national agritourism  ambitions by filling in an annual census to track the scale of the sector and shape future support.

An initial growth tracker was carried out last year, but now VisitScotland are calling for a “broader range” of respondents to share their experiences.

VisitScotland director of industry and destination development, Rob Dickson, said: “Throughout the pandemic we saw the industry continue to grow in popularity, but the tracker also helped shed light on the unparalleled and wide-ranging benefits agritourism brings to society.

“Being able to track the growth and impact of agritourism in Scotland over the coming years is essential if the industry is to grow sustainably.

“Tourism is a force for good, creating jobs, sustaining communities and contributing to our economy.”

The research, being undertaken in partnership with Scottish Agritourism, aims to include farming and crofting businesses considering adding agritourism to their operations as well as those already involved.

Caroline Millar is sector lead of Scottish agritourism .

A new strategy to galvanise the country’s agriculture and tourism sectors was launched last year and it is estimated the combined value of agritourism and farm retail in 2030 could be around £250m, supporting almost 10,000 full-time jobs.

Scottish Agritourism lead Caroline Millar said: “The actions identified in Scotland’s agritourism strategy require investment and support to drive growth projections by 2030 to double the size of the current sector.

“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.

“Without accurate data on our sector we cannot attract investment from capital grants to more agritourism monitor farmers, to support growth. Your support in taking
part in this annual census and encouraging others to do so is much appreciated by your fellow farmers and crofters.”

The survey closes on July 3. To take part visit visitscotland.org

Already a subscriber? Sign in

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