Agritourism and rural tourism

The difference between rural tourism and agritourism is in the criterion according to which it is defined, primarily because rural tourism implies tourist activity in rural areas, while agritourism is based on connecting agricultural and tourist activities. Furthermore, in agritourism, members of the local community offer visitors various activities and tours as part of their own agricultural projects, and thus allow visitors to participate in the following activities:

  • harvesting,
  • food producing of a certain locality,
  • farm holidays,
  • education

The most important characteristic of agritourism is that the owners own their agricultural land and agricultural production, domestic animals and livestock, as well as a clean and peaceful environment and good communication.

The basic component of agritourism also contains a component of sustainable development, the relationship between dynamic economic systems designed by man and larger dynamic ecological systems that are slowly changing, and must be in ecological balance.

Nowadays, sustainable agritourism is based on agreement with the local community, businesspeople and other factors, while the basic forms of agritourism imply division in terms of services and facilities.

Future and opportunity

Agritourism is a significant factor in the activation and maintenance of rural areas that helps preserve local identity, traditions and customs, protects the environment, strengthens indigenous, traditional and ecological production, and helps rural development based on sustainable development, and rightly can be called the future of world tourism.

The importance of agritourism is reflected in:

  • preservation of settlements and buildings from decay,
  • connection between agricultural production and tourism,
  • cultivation of biological-organic food,
  • development of non-agricultural activities,
  • production of traditional products,
  • revival of old crafts
  • hiring new employees,
  • keeping young people in the countryside,
  • promotion of local customs,
  • gastronomy and culture of a certain area,
  • economic development,
  • preserving local identity

Thanks to the overall development of agritourism, additional employment possibilities are also provided, as well as those of earning additional income. Furthermore, since agritourism offers its own products, it therefore affects the revival of agricultural production, especially healthy food. Ultimately, encouraging agritourism, as well as other family farms, contributes significantly to economic development.

For most tourists who opt for agritourism, the primary motive is not a passive vacation with good food and drink, but the “first hand” experience of rural life.

Additional facilities will certainly raise agritourism to a higher level and improve the interest of guests, because, as already mentioned, it can include:  

* participation in agricultural activities such as fruit and vegetable harvesting, crops harvesting, etc.,

* hunting and fishing, carriage driving, boat rowing, cycling, horseback riding, hiking, and similar activities, as well as renting of equipment and accessories for these activities,

* of creative and educational workshops related to agriculture, traditional crafts, etc., presentation of agricultural holdings and natural and cultural values

* visits to registered private ethnic collections, etc., organization of excursions for guests who use accommodation services, including services of using the cable car, ski lifts, funiculars and renting picnic areas.

The greatest benefit from agritourism is gained by the local population, and not by tourist workers or hotels. Often, due to tourism, the nature is destructed to the long-term detriment of earnings. Agritourism and ecotourism are alternative forms of harmful practices such as tree felling, coastal destruction…. Tourists observe or participate in traditional agricultural activities, without negative effects on the ecosystem or on the productivity of the rural household.