Go Rural for Business
August at Laggan, South of Scotland Monitor Farm
18th September 2014
What a month we have had on the Costa del Fleet Bay. Temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees, tourists flocking to the beach and stock on the farm is thriving. It has been a great month and having such a settled spell of weather has made life so much easier this year
Re-visiting Tuscany - Comparing Tuscany's Agritourism Sector to Scotland
17th August 2014
Caroline Millar and Sheena Howden from Go Rural invited Julian Pace, Director of Rural For Scottish Enterprise to visit Tuscany and Umbria with them in July to see how Italy, the world leader's in Agritourism is fairing in this market.
Since Caroline visited Tuscany in 2012 for her Nuffield Scholarship research, the Agritourism market in Italy has incread by 200 million Euros to a value of 1.2 bn Euros for on farm tourism alone, not including downstream activity or the multiplier effects in the economy. In 2012 this value was 1bn euros, so this confirms that Agritourism policies in Italy have continued to ensure growth for this important market for the Italian agriculture and tourism sectors.
In order to understand what Scottish agritourism could achive, we have compared Tuscany, one region of Italy to Scotland across a number of factors in this report. We believe, given Tuscany's market share is around 300 million Euros, with a lower population and lower land mass than Scotland, it is fair to give Scotland a target to achieve a market worth £200 million per annum, directly to farmers, estate owners and crofters from on farm agritourism within the next 3 to 5 years.
One of the most stark findings from re-visiting Tuscany is the support for their SRDP equivalent for agritourism. Over 50 million Euros going into the next round, (for the region of Tuscany alone) compared to 10 million for the whole of Scotland for all farm diversification. Agritourism is an integral part of agriculture and the rural economy in Italy and this is reflected in the RDP allocation.
Over the coming weeks Go Rural will be working with others in the public and private sectors including the estimated 1000 Scottish Agritourism businesses to agree a strategy for growth in Scottish Agritourism, to tap into the worldwide Agritourism consumer market.
Go Rural's full report on Tuscany is available here. Comments are welcome via the Member's area of the website. Copyright Go Rural. Observations from Italy by Caroline Millar.docx
Heads on Beds Monitor Farm Report
17th August 2014
The second Scottish Enterprise Agritourism Monitor Farm meeting was held at Peel Farm on Monday 4th August 2014. Over 40 members of the Monitor Farm Community Group attended the meeting, along with MSPS from the Rural Affairs Select Committee.
The topic for the meeting was "Heads on Beds". The Fleming Family have invested £320,000 in new 5 star accommodation on the farm for guests. They received a £160,000 SRDP grant in the last round of SRDP towards this capital cost. Without this grant, the investment would not be possible. The meeting focused on strategy and activities to give this accommodation investment the best possible return on investment.
A full report on the meeting's outcomes can be found Heads on Beds 2nd Meeting Report.docx
A copy of the Business Plan used to obtain the SRDP Grant can be found here. Please note that the structure of the Plan is copyright of SAC Consulting. The content is copyright of the Fleming Family.
The SRDP Business plan is here SRDP Diversification Business PEEL FARM.pdf
Caroline Millar's Nuffield Report on Agritourism
1st August 2014
Caroline Millar's Nuffield Report on international best practice on adding value to your Farming asset via Agritourism is available here.
Go Rural Members can give feedback and take part in a discussion in the Member's area of the website, on this article and any other blog topic.
18th July 2014
Laggan Farm - Agritourism Monitor Farm
It was only 2 days ago when I started timing myself and the team taking telephone calls to arrange bookings for customers. On reception this year we have Izzy, a school leaver heading off to art college in September and the Day Manager, either myself or my colleague Steve. So, our record length to book was a total of 28 minutes over 3 phone calls discussing the options.On average we are taking about 10 minutes to take a booking and we're taking loads of bookings.. So averaging that out across the year, someone is spending over month on the phone just for bookings. We're really looking forward to one of the forthcoming Monitor Farm sessions which will focus on how we can take bookings on line, reduce paper work on arrival, arrange payments automatically on line and make the process for the customer seamless.