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Australia wide search for farm products by Agritourism Australia set to put farms on the tourism map
Agritourism Australia is set to revolutionize Australian farm tourism with one online information hub that includes all farm tourism products and a pro-active marketing approach including government and community involvement.
By: Pauline Porcaro
Pauline, a tourism teacher in the TAFE system, recently returned from an overseas Fellowship offered by the International Specialised Skills Institute, where she studied the Italian agritourism model. She found a regional agritourism project in a northern Italian region that saw agritourism ventures almost double in about five years. From1999-2007, the area saw a 223% increase in arrivals and a 207% increase in visitor nights due to an excellent marketing program designed by the Gallo Rosso (Red Rooster) in the Alto Adige region. Agritourism Australia is building its business on the guidelines outlined by the Gallo Rosso and aims to emulate its achievements.
The Italian system is also backed by extensive government support and Porcaro has undertaken to lobby government to set up support systems here. Her lengthy report from the Fellowship journey is about to be released to both government and industry bodies here and will commence the Porcaros journey to attain support for farmers to start up in agritourism. Their plans also include developing training for farmers to assist in the development of new agritourism ventures.
After 16 years of teaching product development in tourism, Porcaro is excited to share her experience and her new learning from Italy with farmers around the country. Some of the exciting products the Porcaros saw in their travels were educational farms where farmers spent a morning with classes of school children sharing insights into farming while offering a healthy farm snack, agricamping facilities, or an adopt-a-sheep program where families from the cities adopted a sheep for their children and in return took home a picture of their new pet and received either a package of cheese or fleece once a year.
The first action that needs to be taken according to the Porcaros is to define agritourism and start using the word that the rest of the world is using. There also needs to be a good strategic plan developed at national and community level and good agritourism signposting erected in every town. Industry has to help to lobby government and tourism networks must work with farmers to develop the sector from an holistic approach. Nobody stands alone in tourism to create a new movement.
Currently Agritourism Australia is searching for farm businesses who would like to be represented on their website. Farmers can list their basic details free of charge under headings such as food and beverage, accommodation, farm activities, organic produce or produce for sale, or farm events. More detailed listings including photographs, in-depth information on the farm and its products, and access to the ability to update the information with last minute specials will also be available for a short time at a special once off listing price of $99. The temporary website has a space for farmers to log their interest in listing with Agritourism Australia at www.agritourismaustralia.com.au
Contact - Pauline Porcaro 0414872729
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The business is an agritourism consultancy and on-line marketing facility for agritourism products in Australia. It offers a premier booking facility and information platform for all types of agritourism;