In a year that has challenged many Kiwis, with multiple devastating weather events, a national election and more Founder and CEO of Agritourism NZ Marijke Dunselman tells REX host Dom George that she is optimistic about the emerging trends in agritourism and recounts her experiences with innovative farming operations that have created memorable experiences and lucrative income streams.
She highlights the recent launch of the Agri-tourism Accelerator, a training program that has added value to 94 farmers' lives. She also discusses her role as the chair of the education committee for the newly formed global agritourism network, reflecting her commitment to promoting agritourism.
"The trends are great. People are coming back, international visitors, and they're spending more and they're staying longer," she says.
This shows that the agritourism sector is attracting attention and interest from both local and international tourists. She further mentions the increasing demand for tourism experiences within New Zealand and globally.
Dunselman recounts her experience speaking at various conferences and interacting with farming groups. She observes a rise in interest in agritourism among farmers, as evidenced by her interactions.
"I've been talking to a lot of farmers this year...But the trends are great."
The conversation also touches on Agritourism NZ's partnerships with other organisations, including MediaWorks and PurePods. Dunselman expresses excitement about these partnerships and their potential to advance the agritourism industry.
Looking ahead, she talks about launching the Agritourism Academy and online community in January, which aims to provide resources and information to those interested in growing their agritourism business.