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Agri-tourism takes root in India

October 11, 2013 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Agriculture based tourism in rural areas of Maharashtra has taken strong roots since its pilot project a decade ago.  A survey conducted by Baramati Agri & Rural Tourism Training, Research and Development Center has revealed the active implementation of the product by 127 farms in 12 districts of Maharashtra.

Together, they entertained 330,674 tourists at their farms and earned US$ 2.16 mn (Rs 13. 15 crore) in the financial year ending March 2013.

Pandurang Taware, Director, Agriculture Tourism Development Company (ATDC), said: “Tourists from 14 different nationalities have patronized ourPandurang Taware(right) entertaining his guests! farms. We’ll upgrade our website with information about all our members and add an online booking engine with an international payment gateway by 1 January 2014.”

Nationalities of UK, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Singapore, Japan and others have visited these farms.  Majority (118) is of traditional farmers and 82 of them are small time farmers with less than 10 acres of farms.

Major attractions at agri-tourism farms are accommodation at country homes, traditional cuisine, local sight-seeing, bullock cart rides, rural games and the opportunity to buy fresh produce and rural craft. Trekking formed the major activity for tourists.

Word of mouth was the segment’s key (45 percent) marketing tool.  Website, social media, ATDC’s sales office in Pune and the print and television media were the other tools used for publicity.

India’s peak winter season from November to February was also the peak season for agri-tourism and monsoon season received moderate arrivals.

Privately run Agri Tourism Development Company has received Indian National Tourism awards for innovation in 2010 and as a responsible tourism project in 2013. It has also received Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award in 2012 and Global Responsible Tourism Award 2011 given at WTM for conservation of cultural heritage.

Written by : Anand & Madhura Katti

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