Go Rural for Business - Blog
The Italian Job by Antonio Di Lieto, Market Executive – South Europe, Visit Scotland
15th October 2015
I was invited by Go Rural to join the Learning Journey to Tuscany and Umbria in order to provide some market knowledge and insights. The main aims of this journey were meeting with Italian farmers and agritourism business owners, take part in farm tours while staying in authentic Italian agritourism farms experiencing the Italian life and taste locally sourced food and drink. We had the opportunity to go behind the scenes looking at Italian tourism, leisure, food culture and enterprise and spoken to and met very influential people within the Italian agricultural industry. It has been a really educational journey which I would summarise as per below:
Key learnings: Hospitality, quality of the produce, authenticity, originality are key to make any agritourism grow but this is impossible without the support of the government and of the local councils.
My input: I suggest that Scottish businesses who wish to emulate Italian agritourims should not ‘copy and paste’ what Italian businesses do as this, in my personal opinion, would not make business sense. The weather, the typology of accommodations, the local produces (to cite a few) cannot be replicated and therefore it is paramount, in my view, that they focus on and emphasise their unique selling points, whatever that would be. I also believe that this would be the only way to stand out and let Italians prefer a Scottish Agritourism holiday over a much closer (and possibly cheaper) Italian option.
The opinions expressed above represent my own and not those of VisitScotland.