Agricultural Tourism

What is agritourism?

Agritourism is a business conducted by a farmer or rancher for the enjoyment or education of the public to promote the products of the farm and generate additional farm income.

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(Powerpoint presentation)

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By Michelle Walk

Michigan State University Extension
March 16, 2007

Powerpoint Presentation Outline:

Agricultural Tourism

• What is Agricultural Tourism
• Why Agricultural Tourism
• Considerations
• Success Stories

Definition: Tourism

A collection of activities, services and industries that delivers a travel experience, including transportation, accommodations, eating and drinking establishments, retail shops, entertainment businesses, activity facilities, and other hospitality services provided for individuals and groups traveling away from home.

Definition: Agritourism

Agritourism is a business conducted by a farmer or rancher for the enjoyment or education of the public to promote the products of the farm and generate additional farm income.
• D. Hilchey, 1993

Definition: Agricultural Tourism

Activities that include visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operations to enjoy, be educated or be involved in what is happening on the locale.

Agricultural Tourism

• Sleigh Rides
• Hay Rides
• Pumpkin Patch
• Christmas Tree Farms
• Farm Market
• Bed and Breakfast
• Festivals
• Agricultural Tourism
• Entertainment
• Special Events
• Educational Programs
• Authentic Experience

Why Agricultural Tourism

• Additional Income
• Diversification
• Education
• Preservation
• Increase Community Economic Activity

Tourism Trends

• Agriculture and Tourism are Michigan’s 2nd and 3rd leading industries
• Nature Tourism, Cultural Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Agricultural Tourism growing in popularity
• Travelers are seeking an authentic experience

Facts & Figures

• Tourism is the world’s largest industry: approx. $6 trillion. (2005)
• Tourism is the world’s largest employer: 221 million jobs (2005) and expected to increase to 269 million jobs by 2015.
• The tourism industry enjoys steady growth most of the time. The 10-year annual growth forecast for 2006-2015 is 4.6% per annum: an outlook for strong, long-term growth.

    Source: World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

• Michigan’s tourism industry supports 150,500 jobs with $3.4 billion in payroll income. (2003)
• Michigan ranks 14th of the 50 states, with tourism expenditures of $12.6 billion. (2003)

    Source: TIA’s report, Impact of Travel & Tourism on the U.S. and State Economies, 2005 Edition

• Residents of Michigan annually spend nearly $3 billion more on out-of-state trips than our industry captures from non-residents traveling in Michigan
• 44% of Michigan’s travelers traveled within Michigan for their most recent pleasure trip.

Destination Marketing

Tourism marketing (marketing a destination) is much more than just selling a place to potential visitors.
• It includes the uniqueness (positioning) of what visitors come to see (the product), the relative cost of one place compared to another (the price), the ‘˜distribution’ (or accessibility of the place) to potential target markets, and the variety of methods used to inform and attract visitors (the promotional mix). [-The marketing mix.]

Expectations of Today’s Traveler

• Quality of lodging
• Authenticity of experience
• Looking for unique experiences

What does this mean for your business?

• Visual appearance
• Customer Service
• Knowledge of staff


• The protection of a community’s natural environment and sustainable use of renewable resources is imperative in maintaining the quality of life for residents and ensuring that future generations live in healthy productive surroundings.
• Preservation of agricultural land is important to the community.
• Zoning
• Permits & Licenses
• Insurance
• Tax Issues
• Parking
• Restrooms
• Concessions
• Marketing
• P.A. 46 of 2005
• January 2007
  • Report of Recommendations
  • Agricultural Tourism Local Zoning Guidebook and Model Zoning Ordinance Provisions

Success Stories

• Northern Lower Peninsula
  • Blackstar Farms
  • Just a Plain Farm
• Upper Peninsula
  • Centennial Cranberry Farm, Paradise
  • Sault Ste. Marie Farmer’s Market


• MSU Extension:
• MI Farm Marketing & Agri-Tourism Association:
• Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC):

For More Information

• Michelle Walk
• MSU Extension
• Mackinac County Extension Director
• Community & Economic Development Educator
• 100 S. Marley Street
• St. Ignace, Michigan 49781
• (906) 643-7307