At the December Agriculture Collaborative meeting, Alice Loy and Selene Marroquin of the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship provided an informative and intriguing overview of the state of agritourism in New Mexico based on the findings from the survey. The results were positive and encouraging! There are immediate and long term opportunities for developing agritourism! If you were unable to attend the meeting, please see the presentation.
Learn more about the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship
A Project to Sustain Us: Agritourism + Destination Marketing
The Ag Collaborative is partnering with the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship (GCCE) and Bernalillo County on a project to promote central New Mexico agriculture as a rich tourism experience. Using a "destination marketing" approach, the partners seek to attract a relatively new type of tourist: the geotraveler.
National Geographic defines geotourism as:
tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place-its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.
Geotravelers tend to be tech-savvy travelers who search out a sense of place through authentic experiences that connect them with the communities they visit instead of 'just passing through'. They respect and benefit their host communities. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, "Thirty percent or 35.3 million adults say that a specific arts, cultural or heritage event or activity influenced their choice of destination. In fact, many travelers will extend their stay because of an arts, cultural or heritage event or activity." These travelers invest more of their dollars in their host communities, too. On average, they spend over a hundred dollars more than the typical US traveler.
One strategy to attract geotourists to New Mexico is to identify and promote our local food and agriculture sites. The project partners have a few objectives in the works to achieve this specific goal. In August, the Ag Collaborative will kick off a survey to identify interested local food and ag entrepreneurs. Once the entrepreneurs are on board, the real fun begins! The project partners and the entrepreneurs will create a collection of interviews, photos and descriptions to promote the entrepreneurs and their businesses. One of the final products of this effort will be an agritourism map to guide geotourists along the local food and ag trails in central New Mexico. We hope to bring you these resources sometime in December.
The Ag Collaborative will feature interviews with local farmers from the project in the newsletter. We look forward to bringing you their stories!
See also: Nine Reasons to Develop an Agritourism Corridor in Your Region