An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

RDA Hume supports the expansion of regional Agritourism

07 December 2018

Agritourism, encompassing a wide variety of activities where agriculture and tourism intersect, is becoming an increasingly important sector of the Australian economy, providing direct and indirect benefits to Australian agribusinesses and regional economies.

Deloitte notes that, for some regional economies, the expenditure by agritourists can be a major driver of economic activity. In some regions, the economic value of agritourism is likely to be bigger than the value of the primary produce. In 2015–16, visitors who participated in agritourism activities spent $9.4 billion on their total trip.

The visitor research in the Hume Region identified that the average spend of an agritourist is $160. Two segments in particular were recognised as holding the strongest yield potential for the region, with a higher average agritourism spend—$168 for Suburban Escapists (22% of the total market) and $212 for the Immersion Focussed (10% of the total market).

Across this total market, the top five agritourist experiences identified as a future interest are:

  • Food or beverage tasting
  • Local product available to buy
  • A market with multiple farmers / produce
  • Pick your own produce
  • A tour of the site / process

RDA Hume has recognised that the tourism boards are well connected to the established food and wine operators who have augmented their standard tourism offerings with an agritourism product. However, they also recognised that the tourism boards are not connected to businesses:

  • who are offering agritourism products, but not recognising that they are; nor
  • with an appetite, and a capability, to embrace agritourism. 

With support of RDA Hume project funding, RDA Hume worked with Tourism North East (TNE) on a three phase agritourism project:

  • Stage 1—delivery of consumer segmentation research;
  • Stage 2—an industry mapping project; and
  • Stage 3—an industry development phase.

TNE, Murray River Tourism and Goulburn River Valleys Tourism Limited will take the key insights and recommendations from Stage 1 and Stage 2 to develop opportunities to expand the agritourism industry and to progress approaches for agriclusters.

RDA Hume will continue to collaborate with tourism authorities and consider further requests for support as they arise.

More information about agritrourism and the Agritourism Research and Mapping project is available by contacting RDA Hume.