It's always great to connect with Dom. We had a good chat about Agritourism when I met with him in the studio in Dunedin in October 2023.
Watch this space as we are planning a series of Agritourism Podcasts in the near future.
To listen to this podcast, click on the button below.
I had a great chat with Dominic George from Rural Exchange about agritourism, and my trips to Tasmania and Borneo (speaking at agritourism conferences there). Check out: https://www.rexonline.co.nz/home/podcasts.html (just scroll down a little on the Podcast page.)
Today is our last day in Sarawak, Borneo and what an incredible couple of week it's been. I was invited to speak at the Sarawak Agrotourism Conference, an international conference with 22 speakers from all over Australasia.
Sarawak is at the start of its agritourism journey. The government is right behind the development of this exciting sector for farmers to diversify and develop sustainable and regenerative businesses. Their support will be an important part to move the sector forward.
It was so interesting to hear speakers from a wide range of backgrounds; from scientists to university professors, from professionals in this field to farmers and government officials.
And it was fantastic to finally meet in person the people I have been meeting on zoom at online conferences and at committee meetings for the Global Agritourism Network such as Pandurang Taware who has achieved amazing results in developing agritourism in India, and John Stanley.
Borneo is an island twice the size of NZ. About a quarter is Malaysian, a very small part is Brunei and the largest part is Indonesian.
The people are incredibly friendly, always smiling. The food is amazing (we love eating in villages, check out the video below), nature and wildlife are beautiful. No overtourism in this part, in most places we were the only westerners.
We stayed around the Kuching area (incl. Mt Santubong) for the whole time. Personally, I really like the idea to 'live like a local' and really get to know one place well rather than rush from one sight to another. We explored farmers markets, local food, hikes in the rainforest on the lookout for wildlife (saw probiscus monkeys, orang utangs, lizzards, spiders, Irrawaddy dolphins, crocodiles, lots of butterflies and more..
It's been an amazing experience and I'd like to thank and congratulate Nor Azmi Sulong and his team from Derrisen, the conference organiser, for this highly professionally organised event.
I look forward to seeing how agritourism in this beautiful part of the world will develop and benefit farmers here.
We'll be back!
To read the full article, go to: www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/132604009/farmers-spot-agritourism-potential
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Over the next two days, the World Agritourism Day Conference will take place online. The International Conference on Green Growth through Agri Tourism has been organized to provide a forum to discuss Agri based Tourism.
This will be achieved through the presentation of successful examples, examination of the mechanisms (both institutional and practical) that have led to successful implementation, discussion of the actors involved and analysis of the lessons learned. Furthermore, it is aimed to showcase a vital role of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tourism development in global warming – climate change and green tourism development to development partners or donor countries.
There will be 36 speakers from countries around the world and I am honoured to be one of them.
To register for this (free) virtual conference, go to: https://lnkd.in/g8Tdh8yh
Twenty-three farmers and rural landowners participated in a workshop designed to support potential agri-tourism operators across the Whanganui province.
Whanganui & Partners hosted an agri-tourism workshop with agri-business strategic consultancy group Agritourism NZ, delivering a full-day seminar providing insight into the economic and sustainable benefit of “tourism in our own backyard”.
The group present will now form a network to collaborate with other agritourism operators around New Zealand.
Educational tours, multi-day walks, wine tasting or cheese-making are just some of the ideas that future agri-tourism business owners could be looking at providing, promoting provincial New Zealand to the world.
“We had an amazing turnout and great engagement in the agri-tourism workshop, with many ideas and opportunities for farmers and landowners to set up or expand their rural offering,” Whanganui & Partners’ strategic lead for agriculture, Colleen Sheldon, said.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article in the Auckland Herald
The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) wants to diversify farms in the Manawatū with the introduction of their new Regional Agritourism Accelerator Programme.
Tailored to any farmer seeking to venture into tourism, CEDA in partnership with Agritourism NZ can help them add value to their farming operations.
Coming to Manawatū on May 8, the pilot programme will cover everything from starting a business to marketing and product development. Click here to read more.
Shaun Monk says it took his friends, Island Hills Station owners Dan and Mandy Shand, “about three seconds” to give the green light to his idea for a hiking experience on their land.
He now runs tramps on the Northern Canterbury station, and says they attract people for all sorts of reasons.
“Once you cross that cattle stop you leave the rest of the world behind the boundary fence, you also get to meet cute farm animals, meet hearty people, and exercise in fresh scenery,” Monk said.
Agritourism is a growing industry worldwide. It's where agriculture and tourism meet, and gives people from both ends of the rural/urban divide the opportunity to connect and provides some much-needed tourism numbers back to rural areas of the country. Marijke Dunselman is the founder of Agritourism NZ and joined Dom for some insight into the ever-growing sectors return to form post-pandemic.
This article appeared in the Farmer's Weekly on the 20th of March 2023.
We have developed a new programme for farmers who are interested in starting or growing an agritourism business. This 6-month course will be run in regions around New Zealand from starting in May 2023.
It starts with a full day course in each region followed by five webinars.
Below are 2 new videos outlining what agritourism is with lots of examples and benefits, and about the new programme. Registrations are now open and new regions are still added, so do register your interest on this page: www.agritourism.nz/2023-regional-agritourism-accelerator.html
I'd like to invite you to join the new Agritourism NZ (Private) Facebook Group, a group for anyone interested in farm diversification through Agritourism.
Whether you're starting, running or growing an agritourism business, this group is a place to discuss all things agritourism such as product development, marketing strategies, health & safety, distribution and practical questions. We'll also provide tips and ideas.
While you can ask as many agritourism-related questions as you like, please do also give back to the group and support and respond to other members too!
It'll be a great place to network too!
Please note: while people offering agritourism services are welcome here, this is not a place to tout for clients or to promote your own agritourism products or services.
Get out the gumboots, New Zealand’s national open farm day is set for Sunday 12 March 2023!
Now in its third year, Open Farms reconnects Kiwis with our land, food & farmers through a nationwide series of open farm events.
“It’s about getting urban Kiwis back out on-farm to experience where their food starts” says founder Daniel Eb. “In the two years we’ve run Open Farms, more than 7,000 people have visited 82 farms – from sheep & beef stations, to permaculture orchards, dairy farms, honey producers and more.”
While the 2022 event was delayed, Open Farms 2023 kicks off with a call for farmers to sign up to host an open day.
“There is no lack of interest from urban Kiwis to get on-farm” says Eb. “We book out half of our capacity in 24 hours and more than 80% of events are overbooked. To give more Kiwis a chance to reconnect with their rural roots, we’re asking more farmers to host with us.”
Ahead of the 2023 event, Open Farms have made changes to make hosting easier, including a private event format for first-time hosts and a subsidy to help cover farmer’s time.
“We made these changes to help reduce some of the anxiety around hosting and show farmers that we value their contribution to the project” says Eb. “We can’t do it without them”.
After two years of running NZ’s national open farm day, the Open Farms team have seen the impacts of on-farm experiences first-hand.
“There’s a mindset piece – farmers feel a renewed sense of pride when seeing their farm through fresh eyes or sparking a passion for food production in others. There are tangible economic benefits to hosting too. We’ve seen farmers use their open day to build team morale, hire new people or market a direct-to-customer business model.”
To host an event with Open Farms, farmers sign-up on the website, set and track their visitor numbers and download a handbook covering activity ideas, checklists and more. Open Farms supports farmers to plan their day, manages all visitor marketing & registrations and provides a ‘box-of-kit’ for the day.
“When it comes to bridging the urban-rural divide, there is nothing more effective than an on-farm experience” says Eb.
Across two post-event research projects, visitor feedback is clear - people feel more connected to farmers, view sustainability in farming more positively and better understand the complexities of farming after an open day.
“If nothing else, it’s just good fun – hosts and visitors rate their open farms experience 4.6 out of 5 and 91% of visitors are keen to visit again” says Eb.
Sam McIvor, CEO of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, says that creating opportunities for Kiwis to connect with farming and food production has never been more important.
“The primary sector is being called on to step-up and lead New Zealand’s Covid recovery, people are looking for ways to support sustainable farming and our farmers also want to connect and demonstrate how we grow the nation’s food and manage our environment. Having a platform to connect customers and producers together is critical – that’s why we’ve supported Open Farms since its inception and continue to encourage sheep & beef farmers to get involved.”
Open Farms is backed by three partners - Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund.
For more information, prospective farmer hosts and visitors can visit www.openfarms.co.nz.
Media contact - Daniel Eb (027 586 0884, email@example.com)
About Open Farms
Open Farms is a platform to reconnect Kiwis with the people and places that grow our food. It’s a grassroots, nationwide initiative supporting farmers from all sectors to host on-farm experiences as part of a national open day. The platform supports farmers with event planning, marketing, registrations and kit, and connects visitors to Open Farms events via a booking system. The platform is independently run by Open Farms Ltd, with support from sponsors Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund.
Next month, on February 23rd, 2023, I'll be running a full day "Opportunities in Agritourism workshop". I'm really excited about this as I have not ran any workshops in that region before. Pukekohe is near Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Surrounding Auckland are many farms who have great potential in attracting lucrative Auckland visitors.
The workshop is meant for farmers, orchardists and wine growers who are interested in starting or growing their agritourism business.
In the workshop, we'll cover the following:
Sustainability, whether that’s business, environmental or financial, is front of mind for rural New Zealanders. We’ve teamed up with Rural Exchange (REX) and industry experts, to bring you the ASB Rural Insights webinar series to provide practical insights and tips, and help you build a more sustainable rural business. Whatever your sector or scale, hearing from experts who know their stuff is a great way to get thinking about what you could do in your business.
In the last webinar of the series, our experts discuss diversification and the many different paths you can take - whether that’s on or off-farm. You’ll also hear about the growing worldwide Agritourism industry, and how to develop a quality and sustainable agritourism business.
• Marijke Dunselman – Founder, AgriTourism NZ
• Ross Verry | Chief Executive, Syndex
• Dan Cottrell | Managing Director, Kiwi Quinoa
• Ben Speedy | GM, ASB Rural
• Hamish McKay | Host
Click on this link to view the article the Otago Daily Times website:
Agri-tourism thrives as virtual farm tours go global and New Zealanders take to the hills for rural breaks
I was approached by Amanda Cropp, Business Bureau Chief of www.stuff.co.nz to provide her with interesting people to talk to for an article about agritourism.
Click here to read the article.
The Future of Agritourism Symposium was held in Kaikoura, NZ on the 9th and 10th of June 2021.
The aim was to bring together innovators and leaders to discuss and learn about the opportunities of agritourism. I was honoured to be invited to speak about future agritourism trends and to introduce the Agritourism NZ Network.
The symposium was led by Lincoln University Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management Jo Fountain and Quality Tourism Managing Director Craig Wilson and marks the culmination of the Beef+Lamb Post Quake Farming project’s agritourism stream, which funded the event.
The day was filled with inspirational speakers ranging from keynote speaker Dan Steel from Blue Duck Station to a range of local agritourism innovators, Regional Tourism Organisations. There were three panel discussions; local innovations, latest learnings and looking forward.
Craig Wilson launched the 'Agritourism in NZ' guide, which will be linked to the resources page on this website.
I spoke to several people at the end of the day and they all agreed they felt motivated and inspired at the end of the day.
The day was concluded with a lovely dinner - great for networking! The following day there were several field tours to chose from.
All in all a great success and a credit to the organisers and everyone involved!
The winners of a night at the beautiful Cascade Creek Retreat near Milton (Otago) are Rose & Will Parsons from Driftwood Eco Tours. Congrats!
Last week, I attended my 18th TRENZ. A TRENZ like no other due to the absence of the international buyers. It was more like a conference than a tradeshow, and it was fantastic catching up with many of the 700+ tourism operators and other industry members.
The focus was on what the future of tourism will look like. Several interactive workshops were held where ideas were shared. Sadly, 4 out of 10 jobs in tourism have been lost in the past year.
No one really knows what the future will bring once borders re-open, but the industry appears positive. I am too... After all, people will ALWAYS travel!
Hon. Stuart Nash, Minister of Tourism, announced another $200 million to support the industry and a new TRENZ online platform will be launched mid 2021.
For the presentations, slides and press releases, go to: www.trenz.co.nz/trenz-hui-2021
In March this year, I had the privilege of speaking at the Future Whenua Summit in Southland.
The inaugural Future Whenua Summit, an innovative 3-day educational event organised by Zeb Horrell, was held on the banks of the Mataura river on Zeb’s family sheep farm, The Montana Flat in Southland.
The theme of the weekend was Future Whenua with talks about the practices that could (and perhaps should) shape our landscapes in a vibrant future with significant economic opportunities to be seized. It was a of gathering rural leaders as well as those on the cutting edge.
I spoke about the opportunities for farmers to diversify into agritourism with some case studies of successful agritourism entrepreneurs.
To learn more about this event, go to: https://futurewhenua.co.nz/