February SPOTLIGHT on Agritourism
Updated: Feb 18
Agritourism is any agriculturally based operation that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. When combined with an activity such as first-hand agricultural education, or on-site recreation or entertainment, it is considered an agritourism experience. When agriculture and tourism meet, whether it be for a farm tour or an on-site festival, a wonderful educational experience is born that can connect visitors to a place in one of the most authentic ways possible.
For the past 20 years, agritourism in Hawaiʻi has become an increasing phenomenon, and to this day continues on a steady incline. What started with nursery or botanical garden tours that would draw visitors in to see tropical plants, and Bed & Breakfast farm stays, quickly grew to accommodate both walking and driving tours of coffee plantations, taro farms, tropical fruit farms, macadamia nut farms, and living history farms. Today, we are seeing more agricultural fairs and festivals popping up than ever before, and many farms and ranches are coupling farm tours with adventurous activities such as ATV and horseback experiences.
The Hawaiʻi Agricultural Tourism Association, founded in 2007, helps to educate local farms on the state mandated regulations on agritourism, and provides them with the tools necessary to increase value in their products through educational tours. For the past decade, Hawaiʻi has been rated one of the top 8 agritourism destinations in the world by some of the most reputable travel sites. What makes Hawaiʻi's agriculture so different from other destinations is not only found in its unique goods, but in the history and cultural values that are highlighted in each field, orchard, and ranch.
The latest way people are incorporating agritourism into their destination planning is through large events. “Green-garden parties” at local farms are becoming a prominent request for corporate events. Private festivals at local ranches or farm-based community service activities have gained popularity in group travel. Local farms and ranches have become some of the most sought after venues in the state, which is bringing a new and exciting opportunity to the agritourism industry.
For more information on the best agritourism based activities and events that work best for your program, contact us!