How to Write an Agritourism Business Plan + Example Templates

Agritourism business owner works with local plants.

Elon Glucklich

5 min. read

Updated February 7, 2024

Free Download:  Sample Agritourism Business Plan Template

Agritourism is a rapidly growing industry. From winery tours, to concerts, to letting tourists experience a day working on a farm or ranch, farmers more than tripled their revenue through agritourism uses over the past two decades.

The practice has opened up valuable new revenue streams for entrepreneurial farmland owners looking to diversify their traditional farming operations.

But there are serious challenges to running a commercial enterprise on agricultural land. Any farm, forest or ranch-based business has to balance the expectations and safety of their customers with the need to preserve the environment and maintain daily agricultural operations. There can also be complex regulations to work through.

And even if you’re in the clear legally, you’re at the mercy of seasonal fluctuations and weather disruptions.

Yet all of these challenges can be mitigated with effective business planning. It’s an essential piece to secure funding from an investor or a loan from a bank, develop a solid marketing strategy, and identify opportunities for diversifying revenue sources.

An agritourism business plan contains much of the same information you’d see for other industries. Here on Bplans, we’ve got a great guide already on how to write a traditional business plan. In this article, we’ll look at how to write a business plan specifically for an agritourism business. You can also download our free sample agritourism business plan to get started.

  • 1. Thorough market research is essential

Because of the startup costs and unique land use considerations involved in agritourism, it’s crucial to invest significant time in researching your market before getting started. 

If you’ve already identified the site of your business, make sure you understand the allowable activities on the property. Checking with the relevant government agencies and documenting that your proposed use meets all the legal requirements will add credibility to your plan.

Conduct your own research in the local and regional tourism industry by compiling information on:

  • Regional demographics and psychographics
  • Seasonal tourism and travel trends
  • Visitor numbers at regional tourist destinations
  • Direct competitors (other agritourism offerings) and indirect competitors (other recreation activities)

This information will help you understand what sets your business apart , so you can develop effective marketing campaigns around your competitive advantages.

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  • 2. Emphasize the Mission in Your Plan

Succeeding in an industry that exposes the public to nature requires an authentic commitment to environmental stewardship. Your business plan is an opportunity to show that commitment. The plan lets you highlight the core values and mission that drive your agritourism venture, and explain how they align with the growing demand for authentic, sustainability-focused travel experiences.

Depending on the type of agritourism venture you plan to start and the atmosphere you hope to create, you can detail how your business will meet those demands. Will your business cater to an unmet need in an area with limited outdoor experiences? Or will it provide a one-of-a-kind offering in a region already known for nature-based attractions?

These are all factors to take into consideration when crafting your mission statement , and preparing to develop operations and marketing strategies.

  • 3. Prepare for Unique Challenges

Operating an agritourism business comes with inherent risks, from weather-related disruptions to economic downturns that reduce tourism activity.

It’s important to identify the potential risks and challenges your business may face and develop contingency plans for addressing them.

Is your land owned or leased? Are your employees part-time, full-time or seasonal? From an operational perspective, you should show an understanding of the staffing, training, facility, maintenance and safety requirements.

Describe the processes and systems you will use to manage bookings, customer service, event coordination and visitor feedback. In addition, explain your plan for managing the agricultural side of your business. Your operations plan should demonstrate that you have a comprehensive understanding of both the tourism and agricultural aspects of your business.

  • 4. Nail Your Go-To-Market Strategy

The sales and marketing section of your business plan is where you’ll outline how you plan to reach your target audience and promote your agritourism offerings.

Start by identifying your target market segments, such as families, couples, eco-conscious travelers, or educational groups. These are the audiences you’ll tailor your promotional efforts to.

Discuss your advertising and promotional efforts, emphasizing the most relevant channels to your target market. These might include niche travel websites, eco-tourism forums or local tourism boards. Consider creating content that will showcase your authentic experiences, sustainable practices and educational opportunities. Social media outreach and blogging can promote your business and create valuable partnership opportunities.

Speaking of partnerships, detail any plans to engage with tour operators, local businesses and other industry partners to create package deals, joint promotions, or referral programs that increase exposure for your business.

Your plan should also include a pricing strategy for your offerings. Make sure the prices you set cover your costs, and are competitive with other tourism offerings.

  • 5. Plan for the Future

Though it’s growing in popularity, agritourism revenue makes up less than 6 percent of all farm-related income, according to recent data .

Some business models have been established around agritourism offerings like farm stays, educational workshops, farm-to-table dining experiences and seasonal festivals. But uncertainties around regional preferences, seasonal factors, and regulatory changes make it more challenging to plan an agritourism business than some other ventures.

That’s why you should explain in your business plan how you will measure success and make changes when they become necessary . Outline possibilities for scaling your business over time, including any new products or services, facility upgrades, or additional locations.

Also, consider how you will respond to external threats, from new competitors in your area, to economic downturns, to poor weather seasons.

Taking time to and plan your agritourism business will help you respond to unforeseen challenges and pivot to meet new opportunities. You’ll need it to ensure you can afford to add a new service, purchase new equipment, host events to promote your business or add employees.

  • Download your free Agritourism business plan template

If you’re ready to start your own agritourism business, you can download our free sample agritourism business plan from our library of over 550 sample business plans . Get started today, and see first-hand why businesses that plan grow 30% faster than those that don’t.

See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan

Content Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

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Agritourism Business Plan

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Free Business Plan Template

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  • Fill in the blanks – Outline
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How to Write an Agritourism Business Plan?

Writing an agritourism business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the entire business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.

Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:

Introduce your Business:

  • This section may include the name of your agritourism business, its location, when it was founded, the type of agritourism business (E.g., farm tours & farm stays, u-pick farms, farm-to-table restaurants, wine or brewery tours), etc.

Market Opportunity:

Products and services:.

  • For instance, you may include farm tours, agricultural workshops & classes, farm products & crafts, etc as some of your products & services.

Marketing & Sales Strategies:

Financial highlights:, call to action:.

Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.

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2. Business Overview

The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your business. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:

Business Description:

  • Farm tours & farm stays
  • Farm-to-table restaurants
  • Wine or brewery tours
  • Educational workshops and classes
  • Rural accommodation
  • Nature & adventure activities
  • Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.

Mission Statement:

Business history:.

  • Additionally, If you have received any awards or recognition for excellent work, describe them.

Future Goals:

This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its future plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.

Target market:

  • For instance, families & children, nature & outdoor enthusiasts, tourists & travelers, or school groups & educational institutes would be an ideal target audience for an agritourism business.

Market size and growth potential:

  • For instance, the agritourism industry was valued at USD 5.95 in 2021, so it is crucial to define the segment of your target market and its growth potential.

Competitive Analysis:

Market trends:.

  • For instance, the focus on farm-to-table & local experiences is increasing day by day; explain how you plan on dealing with this potential growth opportunity.

Regulatory Environment:

Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your agritourism farm business plan:

  • Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
  • Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
  • Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
  • Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.

4. Products And Services

The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:

Highlight your offerings:

Mention the agritourism products & services your business will offer. This list may include

  • Farm activities
  • Workshops & Classes
  • Farm-to-table experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Special events
  • Organic farm products

Describe each service:

  • For instance, for farm activities – describe the different interactive activities that guests can take part in, such as gathering fruit and vegetables, feeding animals, milking cows, riding horses or tractors, or helping out on the farm.

Additional Services:

In short, this section of your agritourism plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.

5. Sales And Marketing Strategies

Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:

Unique Selling Proposition (USP):

  • For example, the size & diversity of your farm or exclusive partnership with local artisans or food producers could be some of the great USPs for a professional agritourism business.

Pricing Strategy:

Marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.

Overall, this section of your agritourism business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.

Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your agritourism business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.

6. Operations Plan

The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:

Staffing & Training:

Operational process:, equipment & machinery:.

  • Explain how these technologies help you maintain quality standards and improve the efficiency of your business operations.

Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.

7. Management Team

The management team section provides an overview of your agritourism business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.


Key managers:.

  • It should include, senior management, and other department managers (e.g. operations manager, hospitality manager, customer services manager.) involved in the agritourism business operations, including their education, professional background, and any relevant experience in the industry.

Organizational structure:

Compensation plan:, advisors/consultants:.

  • So, if you have any advisors or consultants, include them with their names and brief information consisting of roles and years of experience.

This section should describe the key personnel for your agritourism business, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.

8. Financial Plan

Your financial plan section should provide a summary of your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:

Profit & loss statement:

Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:.

  • This exercise will help you understand how much revenue you need to generate to sustain or be profitable.

Financing needs:

Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.

9. Appendix

The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.

  • Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections.
  • In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more. These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
  • Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
  • Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
  • Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.

Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.

Remember, the appendix section of your agritourism business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.

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This sample agritourism business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful agritourism plan, including all the essential components of your business.

After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our agritourism business plan pdf .

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Frequently asked questions, why do you need an agritourism business plan.

A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful agritourism business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.

Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your agritourism business.

Where to find business plan writers for your agritourism business?

There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and ideas better than you, so we recommend you write your agritourism business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.

What is the easiest way to write your agritourism business plan?

A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any agritourism business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .

How do I write a good market analysis in an agritourism business plan?

Market analysis is one of the key components of your business plan that requires deep research and a thorough understanding of your industry.

We can categorize the process of writing a good market analysis section into the following steps:

  • Stating the objective of your market analysis—e.g., investor funding.
  • Industry study—market size, growth potential, market trends, etc.
  • Identifying target market—based on user behavior and demographics.
  • Analyzing direct and indirect competitors.
  • Calculating market share—understanding TAM, SAM, and SOM.
  • Knowing regulations and restrictions
  • Organizing data and writing the first draft.

Writing a marketing analysis section can be overwhelming, but using ChatGPT for market research can make things easier.

Can a good agritourism business plan help me secure funding?

Indeed. A well-crafted agritourism business plan will help your investors better understand your business domain, market trends, strategies, business financials, and growth potential—helping them make better financial decisions.

So, if you have a profitable and investable business, a comprehensive business plan can certainly help you secure your business funding.

What's the importance of a marketing strategy in an agritourism business plan?

Marketing strategy is a key component of your agritourism business plan. Whether it is about achieving certain business goals or helping your investors understand your plan to maximize their return on investment—an impactful marketing strategy is the way to do it!

Here are a few pointers to help you understand the importance of having an impactful marketing strategy:

  • It provides your business an edge over your competitors.
  • It helps investors better understand your business and growth potential.
  • It helps you develop products with the best profit potential.
  • It helps you set accurate pricing for your products or services.

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Creating an Agritourism Business Plan

Written by Dan Moore, AIANTA’s Agritourism Consultant 

agritourism business plan sample

Previously, we highlighted key obstacles to overcome and pitfalls to avoid when building an agritourism program. In this article, we will go a bit deeper into the importance and practice of building out a business plan.

No matter how great the prospective market, available resources, or the people in your community, without a comprehensive and nimble business plan, the most effective and efficient path to creating a successful agritourism business can be hard to find. While most agritourism programs are diversifications of existing businesses, it is still necessary to create a separate plan for the agritourism venture. Building out a solid business plan upon inception will ensure that you start on the correct path and “cross bridges” early on while you still have the opportunity to turn back without too much loss. Potential hidden costs and other obstacles will also become more apparent when planning.

When writing your business plan, consider the following:

Always Start with the Story

Gather together everyone you plan to work with on building your business – your family, business partner(s), community. First, define who you are; what is your story? What is your core purpose, or mission? Who do you want to serve? Then determine what success looks like. What do you hope to accomplish by opening this business? Identify a clear understanding of your goals and how you expect to achieve them. Work to refine these down to one statement that you keep handy and refer to for both marketing and operations. This statement will help keep you on track, and serve as a guide to achieve your long-term goals & objectives.

Capture the Overview of Your Business and Business Needs

To create an overview of your business, first concisely describe your agritourism idea including the products and / or services you will be offering. Then, write a description of your operation with more specifics. What is the size and location of the operation(s)? What activities will take place on the land? What facilities will be used? Do you currently have enough acreage to carry out your vision, or will you need to acquire more land? Then match up your current and needed assets with your financial resources. Will you have the money needed to open your business right away or will you need to borrow money? You will also need to determine your time and labor needs. Building a new business takes a lot of work, and it likely will require learning new skills and multitasking. Finally, at this stage, it will be important to examine safety, legal and accessibility concerns. For example, are their dangerous areas to which you will need to restrict access? How do you plan to address sanitation needs (restrooms, hand-washing, etc.)? What are the local regulations in relation to the activities you plan to offer? Do you need special permits or licenses? Is what you want to offer legal? What insurance do you need to obtain? It is your responsibility to address these issues prior to opening up your property to visitors.

Goals and Objectives

Goals and objectives allow you to define your vision further. When considering this vision, think of goals as broad accomplishments you hope to achieve; and objectives as the measurable steps you need to take to achieve those goals.

Here’s a simple tribal agritourism example:

Goal: To develop an agritourism program that builds local interest in learning how to harvest traditional foods that will be incorporated in the menus of local restaurants.

Objective: By August have 10 youth sign up and participate in a foraging club that will gather traditional foods.

In the example above, the goal is a bigger picture outcome. It helps guide our program development. The objective on the other hand is measurable – 10 youth signed up by August harvesting traditional foods. The outcome of your objective should give you a clear idea of your successes. Keep in mind that your goals and objectives need to be attainable. Saying you will have your entire program up and running in six months is unlikely, while completing stage one in six months is doable. Setting goals and objectives will help you determine what those stages are.

Conduct a Market Analysis

You are not the first to start an agritourism business. It is important to learn about who else is out there, and what you can learn from their experience. What businesses are doing well and why? What trends in the industry are you responding to with your business and how will you differentiate? Researching other agritourism businesses in your area is important in getting to know your competition, and also to find potential partners. Note, your “competition” could actually be potential partners, as you both have a similar objective of attracting customers to your area. Competition is actually a good thing if you offer complimentary services. You can team up with other businesses to market to a larger customer base and create an attraction that inspires people to travel from further away and to stay longer.

Build out an Operation and Management Plan

After you determine what your business or program is, and you define what success looks like, it is now a good time to create a plan for how you will run, or operate, this business. In creating this plan, consider the following questions: What is the legal structure of the enterprise? Will you need additional insurance than what you currently have? Who do you plan to hire and for which positions will you hire them? What are the skills and responsibilities required for the personnel involved in the operation? How will you find and attract these people? It is important at this stage to consider how the business might scale. You may not need as many people to assist you when you first begin, but in the middle of a growth phase you will not want to go back and rewrite your operation plan.

Identify Your Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy is where you harness the story you outlined in step one, and determine how you are going to disseminate this story to prospective customers. The first step here is to determine who your desired customer will be. Will they be from nearby towns or cities, or will they be coming from out of state? Will they be traveling with families, or are you hoping to attract only adults? Once you know what kind of traveler you are seeking you can delve into determining this customer’s general needs and interests, and make sure what you are offering meets these needs and interests. Next, determine how you plan to reach this traveler. There are plenty of paths to take: online, print, travel agents (resellers), media. Not all channels are going to work for all demographics, and choosing incorrectly can be a costly mistake. One way to reduce this cost is to collaborate with other local businesses that offer a similar or complimentary experience. It can also be useful to be a part of marketing efforts carried out by DMO’s (Destination Marketing Organizations) or associations (Chambers of Commerce, trade groups). This strategy will provide the blueprint for a Marketing Plan, which you (and your marketing team) will create prior to getting your business off the ground.  Here’s a helpful resource for creating your agritourism marketing plan: . The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also offers a helpful guide and sample template for when you are ready to create your marketing plan ( ).

Develop Your Financial Strategy

Your financial strategy is basic to making management decisions and obtaining financing. In this section, you will identify sources of existing debt and financing needs. You will also develop financial statements including a profit-loss statement, a balance sheet and a cash flow projection that includes sales projections. It is important to understand what your costs will be, and have a projection for where your break-even point is. To get up and running there will likely be some upfront costs. How do you plan to finance the operation? If you do not have the cash on hand are there sources that you could seek funding from – loans, grants, assets? For example, USDA offers value-add grants as well as loans. If your program has community development aspects (job training, youth employment, sustainability, cultural perpetuation) consider researching foundations with programs in these areas. You could also reach out to your current financial institution to see what kind of assistance they could provide.

This section especially highlights the diverse knowledge required and might seem more foreign to those without a business background. While extremely important, the learning curve is quite attainable, compared to the much more difficult task of coming up with a great idea to base your business on. There are plenty of resources available to get you up to speed on these terms and concepts.

First Nations has an Indian Agriculture Curriculum that might be helpful.  The first four Modules of the Participant Workbook provide a useful guide ( ).

Create an Executive Summary

At the completion of all the components of your business plan, create a one page summary of your venture that includes the business description; mission statement; the market and it’s potential; an overview of your management team; and your financial analysis. This summary will be useful when seeking investors / funders, partners, employees, etc., who may be less likely to read your entire report.

A successful agritourism program has great potential to positively impact your community while also providing you with financial benefits. Few to none of these outcomes will be achieved if there is not a solid business plan to back up the program. Answering these questions early will save a lot of time and energy by avoiding foreseeable issues, and offering the time to develop a successful and valuable product.

This project was funded by the Food and Farm Communications Fund

Bureau of Indian Affairs

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Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

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Native American Agriculture Fund

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Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

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Bureau of Land Management

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National Endowment of the Arts

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National Park Service

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United States Forest Service

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Business planning for agritourism enterprises.

Draft your business plan in seven weeks! This online series of seven sessions guides business owners and managers through the process of developing a business plan using AgPlan . Each session covers a different section of the business planning process. We hosted the live webinars between February 13 and March 26, 2024. You can follow the recordings at your own pace. If you do your homework in between sessions, you'll have a business plan drafted in seven sessions.

Business Planning Overview and Business Description

Slides (PDF)

Homework assignment for this week:

  • Draft a business description in AgPlan .
  • Begin to think about the next section coming up on Tuesday, February 20th, which is Operations.

Need help with your homework?

Additional resources:

  • From the National Agricultural Law Center: States with agritourism statutes including limited liability protections
  • For those in Vermont: Guide to Navigating Vermont's Agritourism Regulations

Please take the weekly survey:

  • Please help us with our reporting for the grant that is paying for this series! Complete the following survey after you've watched this week's session.

Business Planning for Agritourism Enterprises - Operations

  • Draft your Operations section in AgPlan . If you don't have your own agritourism operation, create a sample plan to familiarize yourself with the business planning process.
  • Begin to think about the next section coming up on Tuesday, February 27th, which is Marketing.
  • Visit for the recordings and resources
  • We appreciate your feedback! Please complete this survey every week, even if you are answering some of the same questions.  Complete the following survey after you've watched this week's session.

Business Planning for Agritourism Enterprises – Marketing

  • Draft your Marketing section in AgPlan . If you don't have your own agritourism operation, create a sample plan to familiarize yourself with the business planning process.
  • Begin to think about the next section coming up on Tuesday, March 5th, which is Management and Organization.

Business Planning for Agritourism Enterprises – Management and Organization

  • Draft your Management & Organization section in AgPlan . If you don't have your own agritourism operation, create a sample plan to familiarize yourself with the business planning process.
  • Begin to think about the next section coming up on Tuesday, March 12, which is Financials.

Business Planning for Agritourism Enterprises – Financial Section

  • Begin to think about the next section coming up on Tuesday, March 19, which is the Executive Summary.

Additional Resources

  • Farm Financial Management Toolbox
  • Developing & Interpreting Your Financial Statements and Measures
  • Example budgets from the Ag Risk & Farm Management Library
  • Farm Financial Standards Council Guidelines
  • Book: Financial Statements
  • Book: Agricultural Accounting

Business Planning for Agritourism Enterprises – Executive Summary

  • Draft your Executive Summary section in AgPlan . If you don't have your own agritourism operation, create a sample plan to familiarize yourself with the business planning process.
  • The last session in this series is Tuesday, March 26. We’ll have time for Q&A on anything related to business planning and agritourism. Come ready to ask questions and share your experience!

Business Planning for Agritourism Enterprises – Closing Session

  • Continue to work on your business plan
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  • Celebrate your accomplishments to date!

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How To Create a Winning Agritourism Business Plan

By henry sheykin, resources on agritourism experience provider.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan
  • SWOT Analysis

Welcome to our blog post on how to write a business plan for an agritourism experience provider. The travel and farming industry is experiencing a significant growth in recent years, with the demand for unique and immersive experiences on the rise. According to recent statistics, the global agritourism market is projected to reach $XX billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of XX% . This presents a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to venture into this exciting industry.

To successfully establish an agritourism business, it is essential to follow a systematic approach. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive checklist of 9 steps to help you write a business plan for your agritourism experience provider. By following these steps, you will be able to identify your target audience, assess market demand, define your unique selling proposition, set goals and objectives, analyze financial feasibility, develop a marketing strategy, and create an operational plan that will ensure the success of your business.

So, if you're ready to turn your love for agriculture and travel into a thriving business, let's dive right into the process of writing a business plan for your agritourism experience provider. Let's begin by identifying your target audience and assessing market demand.

Identify The Target Audience And Market Demand

Before diving into the details of your agritourism business plan, it is crucial to identify your target audience and understand the market demand for your offerings. This step will lay the foundation for your entire business strategy and marketing efforts.

Your target audience will consist of the individuals or groups who are most likely to be interested in participating in agritourism experiences. Consider demographics such as age, income, location, and interests when defining your target audience. Are you catering to families with young children who want to engage in educational activities? Or are you targeting millennials seeking a unique and sustainable travel experience?

Market research will play a key role in identifying the target audience for your agritourism business. Conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather insights into the preferences, needs, and desires of potential customers. This research will help you segment your target audience and create targeted marketing campaigns.

Tips for Identifying the Target Audience:

  • Consider partnering with local tourism boards or organizations to access market research data.
  • Attend agritourism industry events and network with professionals to gain insights into the target audience.
  • Analyze online platforms and social media groups where individuals interested in agritourism activities gather.
  • Engage with potential customers through surveys or feedback forms to gather specific preferences and expectations.

Understanding the market demand is equally important for the success of your agritourism business. Evaluate the demand for agritourism experiences in your target market by analyzing industry reports, tourism trends, and competitor offerings. Look for gaps or opportunities where your agritourism business can provide unique and in-demand experiences.

By identifying the target audience and market demand, you will be able to tailor your agritourism experiences to meet the needs and desires of your potential customers. This strategic approach will increase the chances of attracting and retaining loyal customers, setting your agritourism business up for success.

Conduct Market Research And Competitive Analysis

In order to successfully launch and grow an agritourism experience provider, it is crucial to conduct comprehensive market research and competitive analysis. This step will provide valuable insights into the demand for agritourism experiences, the preferences and needs of the target audience, and the competitive landscape in the industry.

Market research involves gathering and analyzing data about the market size, trends, and potential customers. This can be done through various methods, such as surveys, interviews, and online research. It is important to collect both quantitative and qualitative data to get a holistic understanding of the market.

When conducting market research, consider the following:

  • Identify the target audience: Determine who your potential customers are, their demographics, interests, and motivations for seeking agritourism experiences. This will help tailor your offerings to their needs and preferences.
  • Assess market demand: Understand the level of demand for agritourism experiences in your target market. Look for trends, such as the increasing interest in sustainable farming and local food, which can drive demand for your offerings.
  • Analyze competitors: Research and analyze other agritourism providers in your area or those offering similar experiences. Identify their strengths, weaknesses, pricing, marketing strategies, and customer reviews. This will help you differentiate your business and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Utilize online surveys or questionnaires to gather feedback from potential customers and understand their preferences.
  • Visit and participate in other agritourism experiences to gain first-hand knowledge of what works and what can be improved.
  • Stay updated with industry news, publications, and forums to identify emerging trends and opportunities in agritourism.

By conducting market research and competitive analysis, you will have a solid foundation of knowledge to make informed decisions about your business strategy, target audience, pricing, and marketing efforts. This step is essential to ensuring the success and profitability of your agritourism experience provider.

Define The Unique Selling Proposition And Competitive Advantage

In order to differentiate your agritourism business from others in the market, it is important to define a unique selling proposition (USP) that sets you apart and gives you a competitive advantage. This is what will attract customers and convince them to choose your experiences over those of your competitors.

A USP embodies the unique aspects of your business that cannot be easily replicated or imitated by others. It should encapsulate what makes your agritourism experiences special and why customers should choose you over alternative options.

When defining your USP, consider the following key factors:

  • Unique Experiences: Identify the specific farm activities and immersive experiences that you offer, ensuring they are distinctive and not commonly found elsewhere. This could include behind-the-scenes tours, interactive workshops, or exclusive access to certain farming processes.
  • Expertise: Highlight the knowledge, skills, and qualifications of your team and local farmers. Emphasize their expertise in sustainable farming practices, agricultural education, or their involvement in the local community.
  • Authenticity: Emphasize the focus on providing an authentic and genuine experience for customers. Describe how you partner with local farmers to create an immersive and educational journey that showcases the realities of farming life.
  • Connection to Nature: Showcase the natural beauty of your farm and the surrounding environment. Emphasize the opportunity for customers to connect with nature, learn about environmental conservation, and witness the impact of sustainable farming firsthand.

Tips for Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition:

  • Research your competitors to identify any gaps in the market and opportunities to differentiate yourself.
  • Conduct surveys or gather feedback from potential customers to understand their preferences and expectations.
  • Focus on the key strengths and advantages of your agritourism experience, rather than trying to cater to every possible customer desire.
  • Consider the emotions and aspirations of your target audience. What unique value can you provide that aligns with their interests and desires?

Defining a clear and compelling unique selling proposition will help you establish a strong position in the market, attract your target customers, and differentiate yourself from competitors in the agritourism industry.

Define The Goals And Objectives Of The Agritourism Experience

Defining the goals and objectives of your agritourism experience is crucial for setting a clear direction and purpose for your business. This will help you align your actions and initiatives towards achieving specific outcomes. Here are some key points to consider when defining your goals and objectives:

  • Identify your vision and mission: Start by clearly defining your vision statement, which outlines the long-term aspirations and ultimate purpose of your agritourism experience. Next, develop a mission statement that encapsulates the core values and guiding principles of your business.
  • Set SMART goals: Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Consider what you aim to accomplish within a defined timeframe, such as increasing customer satisfaction, expanding the range of farm activities, or achieving a certain revenue target.
  • Align goals with your target audience: Understand the needs and preferences of your target audience and align your goals with their expectations. For example, if your target audience is families with young children, one of your goals might be to provide educational and interactive activities for kids.
  • Focus on sustainability and education: As an agritourism experience provider, a key objective should be to promote sustainable farming practices and educate the public about the importance of agriculture. Include goals related to environmental conservation, resource management, and community engagement.
  • Involve your team in goal-setting process to ensure buy-in and collaboration.
  • Regularly review and update your goals and objectives based on market trends and customer feedback.
  • Ensure your goals are realistic and attainable, considering the available resources and market conditions.

Assess The Required Resources, Such As Land, Facilities, And Equipment

In order to establish and operate a successful agritourism experience provider, it is crucial to thoroughly assess and secure the necessary resources. This includes identifying and acquiring the right land, facilities, and equipment . Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Land: Evaluate the size and location of the land needed to support your agritourism activities. Determine if you will require additional space for parking, accommodations, or farming operations. Consider the accessibility, proximity to target markets, and zoning regulations.
  • Facilities: Determine the type and condition of facilities required to deliver your agritourism experiences. This may include barns, pavilions, classrooms, kitchens, restrooms, storage areas, and accommodations. Assess the existing infrastructure and decide if any renovations or additions are necessary.
  • Equipment: Identify the specific equipment needed to support your agritourism operations. This may include farming tools, machinery, vehicles, food processing equipment, and audiovisual equipment for presentations or demonstrations. Evaluate the cost, availability, and maintenance requirements of each item.
  • Consider leasing land or facilities if purchasing is not feasible initially.
  • Collaborate with local farmers or landowners to share resources and reduce costs.
  • Factor in the potential need for future expansions or upgrades when assessing land and facilities.
  • Ensure compliance with local zoning, building, and safety regulations for land and facilities.
  • Invest in quality equipment to ensure smooth operations and minimize maintenance and repair costs.

By thoroughly assessing and securing the necessary resources, you will be well-prepared to provide exceptional agritourism experiences and meet the needs of your target audience. This step is crucial to the overall success and sustainability of your business.

Determine The Legal And Regulatory Requirements

When starting an agritourism experience provider, it is crucial to understand and comply with the legal and regulatory requirements that govern the industry. Failing to do so can result in fines, penalties, and potentially the closure of your business. Here are some important considerations:

  • Research local and national regulations: Begin by researching the legal requirements for agritourism businesses in your specific location. This includes understanding zoning laws, permits, licenses, and any other applicable regulations. Contact local authorities or consult with a legal professional to ensure you have accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Review health and safety regulations: The safety and well-being of your customers should be a top priority. Familiarize yourself with health and safety regulations related to agritourism activities, such as proper handling of animals, food safety protocols, and emergency preparedness.
  • Obtain necessary permits and licenses: Depending on your location and the specific activities you plan to offer, you may need to obtain various permits and licenses. This could include permits for events, serving food, or operating certain equipment. Research the requirements and begin the application process well in advance to avoid any delays.
  • Consider liability insurance: Agritourism experiences can involve inherent risks, so it's essential to protect your business from potential liability issues. Consult an insurance agent specializing in agritourism or business insurance to determine the appropriate coverage for your specific needs.
  • Be aware of labor laws: If you plan to hire employees or work with contractors, familiarize yourself with labor laws and regulations that apply to your business. This includes minimum wage requirements, working hours, and any other employment-related obligations.
  • Ensure compliance with environmental regulations: Sustainable farming practices are a key component of agritourism. Be aware of any environmental regulations that govern your operations, such as waste management, water usage, and conservation practices.
  • Regularly review and stay updated on any changes in the legal and regulatory landscape that may impact your agritourism business.
  • Seek legal advice if you are unsure about any specific legal requirements or obligations.
  • Maintain thorough documentation of permits, licenses, and compliance efforts to ensure your business is operating within the law.

By understanding and adhering to the legal and regulatory requirements, you can build a strong foundation for your agritourism experience provider and operate with confidence, while also ensuring the safety and satisfaction of your customers.

Analyze The Financial Feasibility And Create A Budget

One of the crucial steps in developing a successful agritourism business is to analyze the financial feasibility and create a budget. This process allows you to determine whether your business idea is viable and sustainable in the long run.

To begin with, it is essential to assess the initial investment required for your agritourism experience. This includes costs for acquiring or leasing land, constructing or renovating facilities, purchasing equipment and supplies, and obtaining any necessary permits or licenses. Conducting a thorough analysis of these upfront expenses will help you determine the feasibility of your business idea.

Furthermore, creating a budget is essential for understanding the ongoing operational costs and revenue projections. This includes estimating expenses for utilities, maintenance, staff salaries, marketing, insurance, and other overhead costs. Developing a comprehensive and realistic budget will enable you to monitor and manage your finances effectively.

Here are some important factors to consider when analyzing the financial feasibility and creating a budget for your agritourism business:

Research industry benchmarks:

Forecast revenue streams:, project expenses realistically:, consider seasonal variations:, create a contingency plan:.

By analyzing the financial feasibility and creating a budget, you will have a clear understanding of the financial requirements for your agritourism experience. This knowledge will not only help you secure funding from potential investors or financial institutions but also enable you to make informed decisions for the success and sustainability of your business.

Develop A Marketing And Promotional Strategy

Once you have defined your unique selling proposition and competitive advantage, it's time to develop a marketing and promotional strategy to attract your target audience and create awareness about your agritourism experience. This step is crucial in ensuring the success and visibility of your business.

The first step in developing your marketing strategy is to identify your target audience and understand their preferences, interests, and behavior. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts to effectively reach and engage with them. Conduct market research, surveys, and analyze customer data to gain insights into their needs and expectations.

With the knowledge of your target audience, you can now create a strong brand presence and identity. Develop a visually appealing and memorable brand logo, website, and marketing materials that reflect the unique experience you offer. Your brand should convey the values of sustainability, education, and the connection to local farming.

Incorporate digital marketing into your strategy by establishing a strong online presence through a well-designed website, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media channels. Utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to showcase enticing visuals, engage with your audience through behind-the-scenes content, and share customer testimonials to build trust and credibility.

Offer special promotions and packages to attract new visitors and encourage repeat customers. Consider partnering with local accommodations, tour operators, or travel agencies to expand your reach and create mutually beneficial deals. Additionally, implement a referral program to incentivize your existing customers to bring in new attendees.

Collaborate with other local businesses and organizations to cross-promote and reach a wider audience. This can include partnering with farm-to-table restaurants, farmer's markets, or environmental organizations. By working together, you can leverage each other's networks and strengthen your marketing efforts.

Tips for a successful marketing and promotional strategy:

  • Consistently update your website and social media platforms with fresh content, offers, and upcoming events, keeping your audience engaged and interested.
  • Develop partnerships with influential bloggers or vloggers in the travel and food industry to create compelling content and amplify your reach.
  • Utilize email marketing campaigns to keep your audience informed about new experiences, seasonal offerings, and exclusive discounts.
  • Regularly monitor and analyze the performance of your marketing efforts through website analytics, social media insights, and customer feedback. Adjust your strategy accordingly to optimize results.

A well-developed marketing and promotional strategy will help you effectively reach and engage your target audience, drive foot traffic to your agritourism experience, and establish a strong brand presence in the market. Continuous evaluation and adjustment of your marketing efforts will ensure long-term success and the growth of your business.

Create A Comprehensive Operational Plan

Once you have defined your goals and objectives and assessed the required resources, it is essential to create a comprehensive operational plan for your agritourism experience provider. This plan will outline the day-to-day activities and processes involved in running your business smoothly. Here are some important considerations when developing your operational plan:

  • Staffing and Training: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of your staff members, including farm guides, workshop instructors, and kitchen staff. Ensure that they receive appropriate training and have a deep understanding of your agritourism experiences and sustainable farming practices.
  • Inventory and Supplies: Establish a system to manage your inventory and ensure you have sufficient supplies for farm tours, workshops, and farm-to-table dining experiences. Keep track of the ingredients required for your meals and coordinate with local farmers for a steady supply of fresh produce.
  • Facility Management: Maintain your facilities, including barns, workshops, and dining areas, to ensure they are safe, clean, and welcoming for your customers. Regularly inspect equipment, conduct maintenance checks, and address any repairs or upgrades necessary to provide a smooth and enjoyable experience.
  • Scheduling and Reservations: Implement a system for managing bookings and reservations for your agritourism experiences. This can be done manually or through an online booking platform. Ensure that your operational plan includes protocols for handling cancellations, rescheduling, and customer inquiries.
  • Health and Safety: Prioritize the health and safety of both your staff and customers. Develop protocols for maintaining proper hygiene, handling animals, and educating visitors about safety precautions on the farm. Conduct regular assessments and update your operational plan accordingly to mitigate risks.

Tips for Creating an Effective Operational Plan:

  • Regularly review and update your operational plan to adapt to changing circumstances or emerging trends in the agritourism industry.
  • Consider conducting trial runs or test experiences to identify and address any operational challenges before launching your business.
  • Establish partnerships with local service providers, such as transportation companies or accommodation providers, to streamline logistics for your customers.
  • Implement a feedback system to gather input from your customers and staff, allowing you to continuously improve your operations.

A comprehensive operational plan not only ensures the smooth functioning of your agritourism experiences but also helps you maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. By carefully considering all aspects of your operations, you can provide a memorable and enriching experience for travelers while promoting sustainable farming practices and supporting local farmers.

In conclusion, creating a business plan for an agritourism experience provider requires careful consideration of various factors. By identifying the target audience, conducting market research, and defining the unique selling proposition, you can better understand the market demand and how to differentiate your business. Additionally, defining goals and objectives, assessing required resources, and analyzing financial feasibility are crucial steps in planning for success.

Moreover, understanding the legal and regulatory requirements, developing a marketing and promotional strategy, and creating a comprehensive operational plan will ensure the smooth operation of your agritourism business. By following these nine steps, you can lay a solid foundation for your venture and provide unique and immersive experiences for travelers while promoting sustainable farming practices and supporting local farmers.

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Overview Types of Agritourism Businesses Management Marketing Risk Management Resources and Links  

According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel and tourism is a $1,127 billion industry in the United States that has directly generated more than 9 million jobs. An increasingly popular and growing opportunity for agricultural producers is agritourism.

The U.S. Census of Agriculture shows an increasing trend in agritourism and related recreational services as well as direct sales of agricultural products. The Census of Agriculture first used the term “agri-tourism” in 2007 with a question about “agri-tourism and recreational services such as farm or winery tours, hay rides, hunting, fishing, etc.” Using this limited definition, agritourism income grew by 67% over 10 years (between 2007 and 2017) and more than doubled when including direct sales of agricultural products, which is viewed as an important part of agritourism by many definitions. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, 28,575 farms offered agritourism and recreational services resulting in $949 million in sales. In addition, direct-to-consumer sales brought in $2.8 billion in sales for 130,056 farms. The next Census of Agriculture will be performed in 2022.

Types of Agritourism Businesses

An agritourism business can be defined as any person, farm, or corporation actively engaged in the operation, management, or promotion of an agriculturally-related tourism business open to the public. Examples of agritourism activities include but are not limited to: 

  • U-pick farms give customers a hands-on farm experience by inviting them to come pick products from the field to purchase and take home. Common types of products offered at u-pick farms include fruits, vegetables, pumpkins, flowers, and Christmas trees.
  • On-farm markets give customers the opportunity to come purchase produce and/or products on the farm property. Common types of farm markets include farm stands (outdoor booth on the farm) and farm stores (enclosed store on the farm).
  • Farms that grow and sell pumpkins. On-farm pumpkin patches often sell their pumpkins as a u-pick and/or through an on-farm market. 
  • A maze cut out in a cornfield that customers can navigate through.
  • Farms and businesses engaged in growing grapes for wine and/or wine making. Many wineries provide on-farm entertainment including, but not limited to, wine-tastings, wine-trails, music, and on-farm dinners.
  • A flower farm that invites visitors to come see or experience the flower crop in the field . Floriculture farms may host events and workshops, provide a flower u-pick and offer photography opportunities.
  • A working farm that invites visitors on their property to see or experience the farm . Examples of demonstration farms include but are not limited to dairies, conservation farms, and cattle ranches.
  • A farm that invites customers to pick or buy Christmas trees on their farm.
  • Farm stays invite visitors to stay on a farm property.
  • A farm that engages with visitors by giving them a tour of their farm.
  • An educational opportunity for kids to come experience a farm and engage in agriculture practices.
  • On-farm dining experience, often including a specialty chef, farm fresh food, and entertainment.
  • Opportunities for visitors to come interact with horses on the farm. Types of equine agritourism can include trail riding, horseback riding lessons, dude ranches, horse camps, boarding facilities, and equine therapy farms.
  • Landowners opening up their pond to visitors for fishing.
  • Landowners inviting visitors on their land to hunt usually for a fee.

Best Management Practices for an agritourism business include:

  • Providing an authentic farm or ranch experience
  • Providing an educational experience
  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Providing adequate public facilities
  • Maintaining a safe and accessible environment
  • Creating good community relations
  • Planning for your financial future

When starting an agritourism business or assessing your existing operation, consult the available resources and consider the following best management practices:

  • Authentic Farm or Ranch Experience  - Agritourism provides visitors with an educational experience aside from one that is solely commercial. It is important to keep in mind that your farm/ranch is often the “face of farming and ranching” in your community, region, or state. A product you offer to visitors may be the experience of farm or ranch living. It is also important to understand what aspects of agriculture your local associations (agricultural, tourism, and marketing) emphasize in your region so that you can develop your own niche in coordination with other farms and attractions nearby.
  • Educational Experience  - Farms and ranches can offer an agriculturally-oriented educational experience suitable for different ages. Food and fiber production, land stewardship, and history of agriculture are common topics that visitors enjoy learning about.  Another way to diversify your operation and educate guests may be on-property recreational activities (e.g., fishing, hunting, trail riding, cross-country skiing, or hiking).
  • Customer Service  - This should be an integral part of your business planning. Training your staff to interact with customers in an appropriate way will ensure a safe and high quality experience for customers. It also ensures these customers will return and tell other potential customers about your business.
  • Adequate Public Facilities  - Your farm/ranch needs to have sufficient capacity (staff and infrastructure) to provide basic services such as parking, transportation, signage, customer assistance, education, and roads. In order to maintain a safe and customer friendly business, provision of services and facilities like restrooms becomes necessary.
  • Safe and Accessible Environment  - You should ensure that your property and facilities are maintained and in compliance with zoning, health, food safety, and environmental regulations. It is useful as well to create a risk management plan for your farm/ranch. In addition, depending on your type of business, consider compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which mandates equal customer access to certain facilities (entrances, exits, and bathrooms).
  • Community Relations  - To create good community relations, it is important to regularly provide opportunities for organized groups and individuals in your community to visit your property (e.g., schools and business associations).
  • Planning for your Financial Future  - Regularly review your business plan and appropriately add value (price) to all farm/ranch services, products, and experiences in order to provide for the long-term sustainability of your business.

What is your farm story? How you market and promote your farm is an essential part of managing your business. Telling your story, having a clear mission and creating a culture for customers to engage in will help develop an environment where customers feel welcome. It is important that you understand and are passionate about the agritourism business you are promoting.

Start by developing a marketing plan. Who is your target audience? What experience and education do you want to share with them? How are you going to communicate with them? Thinking about your target audience will help you narrow down your best marketing channels. Having an online presence through websites, blogs, social media, e-newsletters, and Google is a great way to reach a broad audience. It is important to keep your business information updated on a regular basis. Other forms of marketing may include print-ads, mailers, cooperative marketing, tourism organizations, and agritourism/farm associations.

A powerful business marketing tool is reviews from satisfied customers. Whether it is by word-of-mouth, social media, or Google reviews, satisfied customers will be an asset to your business. New customers grow your business; satisfied repeat customers sustain and market your business to another wave of customers. 

Many producers who are involved in agritourism note there is synergism in having non-competing agritourism enterprises in the area to increase traffic to the area and provide more tourism attractions for customers. A list of resources and organizations supporting agritourism can be found  here .

Risk Management

Farmers and ranchers are legally responsible (liable) for the well-being of their customers and employees.  Considering safety and minimizing risk are important parts of business planning. To protect your agritourism business, it is important to create a risk management plan.   Some of the main areas of risk and negligence include site safety risk, product risk, employee related risk, and financial risk.  To ensure the well-being of your business, it is recommended that you avoid certain activities, use liability waivers, purchase insurance, practice good management techniques, train employees, and pay attention to the legal structure of your business.

Checklist for Managing Risk

  • Key consultants to determine your needs are lawyers, insurance agents, financial managers, and accountants.
  • Before you start implementing any business plans it is critical that you review local, state and federal laws and regulations; such as zoning, signage, employee tax withholding, food-related inspections, licenses or fees, and the risk management planning associated with animal exhibits and animal-human health concerns. Contact your county planning department to learn about your property’s zoning requirements and to figure out what permits you may need.
  • Site Safety: Consider physical site hazards including visitor activities and attractive nuisances such as farm equipment likely to attract children.
  • Product: Consider what you are selling or producing and any health or safety regulations or considerations
  • Employee related: Know your employees and know what will be required on-site to safeguard their health and safety
  • Financial: Consider current record-keeping, billing processes, assets and debts
  • Post rules for customers and conduct regular inspections
  • Post and implement employee rules and regulations
  • Using proper signage can help reduce liability, but it does not remove liability.
  • Establish a labeling protocol for products
  • Establish a protocol based on state regulations for handling products
  • Business liability
  • Product liability
  • Workers’ compensation
  • It is important to have a good insurance policy and a good working relationship with your insurance agent.
  • Consider using preventative measures like waivers or product warnings if warranted.

Understand your state’s laws relating to your property and business. Work with a trusted lawyer to see that your farm is set up for success. 

Risk Management Education for Farmers with On-Farm Visitors, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach

This online curriculum offers information and tools to enhance the safety and health of an on-farm operation that allows visitors on their property. Participation in this program will lead to new skills and techniques to implement practical management solutions on your farm. 

Risk Management Education for Farmers with On-Farm Visitors Course Link  

Agritourism Safety and Health Best Practices Checklists, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Risk Management Planning

Risk Management Planning for Agritourism , University of Vermont Extension

“Don’t Break A Leg… Managing Risks on Your Small Farm,”  “Managing Marketing Risks” and other Risk Management Articles. The Small Farms Program-Cornell University

Farm Commons  

Health and Safety Guidelines National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health , Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (NIOSH)  Toll-Free: 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348

National Safety Council  - Farm safety & workplace fact sheets (scroll down for Agricultural Safety) Toll-Free: 800-621-7615   NIOSH Agricultural Research Centers

The National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety  

Insurance Information North American Farmer’s Direct Marketing Association  - Member’s liability insurance list, 62 White Loaf Road, Southhampton, MA 01073, 413-529-0386

National Center for Agricultural Law, Research, & Information , University of Arkansas, School of Law, 479-575-7646

Resources/Other Links

2019 Best Practices in Agritourism  (PDF)

How to Develop a Farm Stand  (PDF)

How to Develop a Farm Stay  (PDF)

How to Develop a Farm Tour  (PDF)

How to Develop a Pick-Your-Own Business  (PDF)

How to Host a Farm Dinner  (PDF)

How to Host a Summer Camp  (PDF)

How to Host Weddings  (PDF)

U.S. Travel Association , 2019. U.S. Travel and Tourism Overview

U.S. Census of Agriculture , USDA (2012, 2017). Table 6&7. Income From Farm-Related Sources

How Oregon State University Programming Supports the Development of Agritourism Activities (Including Farm-Direct Sales) in Oregon ,  2019

On-farm Agritourism Activities in Marion County, Oregon from 2017-2018 ,  2019

Vermont Agritourism Collaborative , University of Vermont Extension  

Additional Resources

National Resources USDA Risk Management Education Agency  - Develops educational materials for 50 states. National Ag Risk Library , University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, Toll-free 800-234-1111 Regional Risk Management Education Centers Northeast Center for Risk Management Education , University of Delaware, 302-831-2538

North Central Risk Mgmt Education Ctr , University of Nebraska, 402-472-2235

Southern Region Risk Mgmt Education Ctr , University of Arkansas, 501-671-2175

Western Center for Risk Management Education , Washington State Univ., 509-335-6360  

Accessibility Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act 800-514-0301 (voice) 800-514-0383 (TTY) State Resources Your State’s: Department or Agency of Agriculture, State Agritourism Organization, Department of Marketing or Tourism, University Cooperative Extension Service, and directories from the  National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils , and  Natural Resources Conservation Service .

agritourism business plan sample

Agritourism Value Added Producer Grant Profiles and Recipients 

African Alliance of Rhode Island (PDF)

Avena Botanicals (PDF)

Big Picture Farm (PDF)

Boothby's Orchard & Farm Winery (PDF)

Fuzzy Udder Creamery(PDF)

Gothberg Farms (PDF)

TMK Creamery (PDF)

When Pigs Fly Farm (PDF)

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  • Olive Research for Oregon
  • Whole Farm Management
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  • Sample Business Plans
  • Start Your Business Plan
  • Berries & Grapes
  • Biodiversity & Pest Management
  • Harvest & Handling
  • Herbs & Flowers
  • Nursery Crops & Greenhouses
  • Tree Fruits & Nuts
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  • Drought, Fire, Flood, Disaster Relief and Resiliency Programs
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  • Improving Soil Quality & Cover Crops
  • Agricultural Composting and Water Quality
  • Water & Irrigation

Agritourism and Your Whole Farm Business Plan

The resources below center around incorporating agritourism into your whole farm business plan.

OSU Resources

Developing an Agritourism Business Plan - OSU Extension fact sheet 

OSU Small Farms Business Planning  - A website dedicated to creating and maintaining a farm business plan.

OSU Small Farms Business School Recordings and Resources

Other Resources

  • Recording: Business Planning for Agritourism Enterprises - General agritourism business planning and introduction to the free software AgPlan . Hosted by Global Agritourism Network and National Extension Tourism Network Agritourism Working Group.
  • Oregon Start a Business Guide - Oregon Secretary of State, Corporate Division, 2018
  • Small Business Development Center - Find Local Assistance. U.S. Small Business Administration

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Marketing Your Agritourism Business

Image of a U-PICK sign:

Image of a U-PICK sign:

What is Marketing and a Marketing Strategy?

Marketing encompasses everything you do to communicate with and meet the needs of an identified consumer group.  Marketing requires that you understand your target consumer group(s), their needs, how your product or service meets their needs and developing a strategy to reach those consumer groups.

A marketing strategy is your plan for the actions you will take to communicate and meet peoples' needs, how you will allocate budgetary funds to those activities, and how you will evaluate your actions.  Your marketing strategy will serve as a link between your business goals and sales.

What Are You Marketing?

Agritourism is a broad umbrella including a variety of business types, from corn mazes and pumpkin patches, to farm stays, u-pick, and educational events/activities. Image 1 illustrates the five categories of agritourism – education, direct sales, entertainment, outdoor recreation, and hospitality – as well as showing how activities are tiered as either core or peripheral.

Categories of Agritourism

Image 1. Categories of Agritourism. Source: Chase, et al. 2018

Understanding how different activities can be categorized can guide you as you develop the marketing strategy for your agritourism business.  For instance, while you may sell tangible products (apples, jams, pumpkins, etc.) to visitors, overall, the "product" you're often offering to consumers is the experience. 

Consumers are looking for the experience.  Forbes reported in late 2018 that according to TripAdvisor data, 67% more travelers chose outdoor activities in 2018 than in 2017, there was a 61% increase in bookings for classes such as cooking, and "59% more travelers decided they'd rather engage in a cultural excursion or an historically themed tour" (Taylor).

For some agritourism businesses that have been particularly successful in marketing their experiences, the core, agricultural activity of the farm may be only a small portion of the enterprise, with a majority of their income coming from their experiential offerings. In other words, the "corn maze" may bring in a lot more revenue than the corn field it replaced.

Many agritourism businesses are seasonal in nature resulting in the challenge that consumers will not be routinely visiting or purchasing from you throughout the year.  Perhaps you have a business that consumers may only visit once a year such as a u-pick experience or a Christmas tree farm.  Or, you may have an agritourism business where you are offering an experience that people want, but it may be a once-in-a-lifetime (or hopefully every few years) experience such as a farm stay or hunting excursion. With these types of agritourism businesses, it is important to ensure that you provide them with a memorable experience they will share with friends and families through word of mouth and social media.

Differences across types of agritourism make it critically important to understand the drivers for consumers to visit and purchase your products, services, or experiences and then to develop a marketing strategy unique to your business.

Who Are You Marketing To?

Success in marketing requires that you understand your customers, both existing and potential. You should be able to describe who you envision coming to, or engaging with, your agritourism business. 

Who are the people that make up your target market?

Consider how can you classify, or group people based on the following common demographic characteristics:

  • Employment status
  • Family status

Some resources for collecting demographic information include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census data, and PA County Profiles .

Where are these people located?

  • In what area (country, state, city, etc.) do they live?
  • Do they live in a rural, urban, or suburban setting?
  • How transient are the people you want to target?
  • What is the population density and growth rate where your target market lives?
  • How do you anticipate the population to change in the coming years?

What do they think?

What are the values of customers and what motivates them to visit your agritourism business?

  • What are the consumers' opinions and values?
  • What are their interests and lifestyles?
  • What attitudes do they have about agriculture, your product(s), events or services?
  • What needs do they have that compel them to purchase your product(s) or engage in on-farm activities?

What do they do that makes them unique (as a group) from others?

  • What products do they typically use?
  • What benefits do they look to get from the products they purchase?
  • What experiences are they looking to have?
  • How often do they use types of products that you offer?
  • How sensitive are they to price changes?
  • How loyal are they to their preferred brands?
  • How are the products usually purchased and from where?

Using this information, develop customer profiles to describe the general person that characterizes each group you have identified through these questions.  A customer profile is a general description of the type of individual that makes up your target market.

Your Marketing Mix

Four aspects – product, place, price, and promotion – are commonly referred to as the Four P's and make up the marketing mix for your marketing strategy.  Your effectiveness in accurately identifying your target consumer characteristics and matching those with your product mix will significantly determine success for your agritourism business. 

Products/events/experiences offered must fit what your target customers are looking for.

  • How would you describe your products/events/experiences?
  • How will customers/visitors benefit from your products/events/experiences?
  • What makes your farm experience unique?
  • What product-related services do you provide the customer, such as recipes or pairings?
  • What are the attributes of your product(s) that your customer values?
  • Is there anything new or different about your product(s) that set you apart from the competition?
  • How much of your product is available?
  • How many events of each type will you offer?

How will customers access your product(s), service(s), and/or experience? Many types of agritourism exist in rural areas, part of their appeal. However, you need to be cognizant of the distance your target consumers will need to travel, as well your business's proximity to other destinations.  You should also consider the placement of items on and in your physical location.  Aspects to consider include:

  • How and where will product(s) be marketed? Direct-to-consumer marketing outlets include on-farm markets, farmers' markets, online stores, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, and home delivery.
  • Will customers have to come to your farm or a farmers' market to purchase? If you will sell via a CSA (community supports agriculture) model, will you have drop-off locations, delivery, and pick-up at your farm? How accessible, convenient, and when are those locations open?
  • What is your location like?  How accessible is it from main highways? What is your proximity to other points of interest? Is visitor parking suitable? Are buildings, trails, and other areas that visitors would occupy safe and well maintained?
  • Merchandising. Consider displaying items that complement each other to create a package or creating a theme display.
  • Signage. If you are offering an on-farm activity do you have a display that conveys pricing and information?
  • Displays. Are your displays highlighting your feature products? Consider creating storefront window displays, showcase displays, or found-space displays. 

Setting prices first requires an understanding and knowledge of your costs to produce products or offer events. Keys to setting profitable prices include:

  • Knowing your fixed costs
  • Understanding your variable costs
  • Understanding opportunities for charging fees for activities, experiences
  • Performing a breakeven analysis to know breakeven price or quantity
  • Performing sensitivity analyses to understand how changes in production or sales quantities or changes in price impact
  • Adjust based on product characteristics, a specific pricing strategy, customer price sensitivity, customer values, and other factors.

Price contributes to the perception of your product, that is, when consumers see a product price it sends signals to them about quality, match with the market outlet, expectations for assistance, etc.

Customers learn of your business, product(s), and events through promotional activities. A thorough understanding of your customers will allow you to implement the most effective promotional tactics.  Consider how you will communicate, interact, and engage with both your customers and non-customers. You'll need to determine they promotional tactics you'll utilize, the messages and information you'll share, and how often, or the schedule, you'll engage in promotional activities.

Examples of Promotional Tactics

  • Signs along the highway
  • Brochures/flyers at visitors' centers, community centers, etc.
  • Charity/local event donations
  • Event sponsorships
  • Speaking engagements
  • Booth at events
  • Social media presence and activity
  • Press releases to local media
  • Publish a blog
  • Distribute a newsletter (electronic and/or mailed/paper)
  • Social media promotions (ads & boosted posts)
  • Word of mouth
  • Coupons/discounts

Marketing in the Digital and Social Media Age

With 90% of the U.S. adult population online and 72% using social media as of January 2019, having a digital and social media marketing strategy as a component of your overall marketing strategy is essential (Pew Research Center). As of February 2019, the four most widely used social media sites in the U.S. were:

Social media is often the first place many people now turn to when looking for ideas on what to do or researching places or businesses to visit.  While consumers are engaged in their decision-making process, as a business, you want your online presences, content, and messaging to be up to date, accessible at all times, and aligned across all platforms.  The perception of your business should be the same whether the consumer is interacting on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog.

Digital & Social media best practices

  • Regularly update your website with current business information, prices, pictures, etc.
  • Ensure your website is easy to navigate
  • Regularly post to your social media accounts
  • Develop a mix of content types (promotional, information, entertaining, etc.)
  • Use photos and videos to engage your online community
  • Set measurable goals and objectives for your digital marketing activities.
  • Be responsive to questions and comments

How Are Your Employees Telling Your Story?

Your employees can significantly impact the success of your agritourism business in several ways. For agritourism businesses that rely on employees to interact with consumers, it is important for those employees to be familiar with the history of your farm and agritourism business, what makes your business unique and be skilled at conveying that to customers. Through stories, employees can develop a stronger association and deeper understanding of the message from their employers.

Having this understanding of farm history creates a sense of loyalty and pride which can trickle down to your customers. The success of your agritourism business can be dependent on customer experience. Recent research by Harvard Business Review , found emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as a highly satisfied customer. An employee who is informed and engaged will boost customer experience.

Some ways to determine how well your employees have been integrated into your business 'family' include:

  • Having a sense of their communications about your business. For example, do employees complain about their job on social media?
  • Do they know the history of your business and share that with customers?
  • Their demeanor on the job
  • Their attentiveness to and interaction with customers

Collaborative Marketing

Another approach that agritourism businesses may want to pursue, and find benefit from, is to develop collaborative marketing relationships with other businesses in their local or regional area that each believe are targeting the same consumer segments. This sort of approach is typically common at an industry promotion level – think wine, beer, ice cream trails – but research has shown that consumers visit multiple businesses/places when they travel to a location. Consumer knowledge about the destinations available to visit en route to your location, as part of a trail, or from your location if it is a base (such as a farm stay) can entice consumers to make the decision to visit.

Some ideas on how to work with your peers include:

  • Developing packages
  • Having lists of complementary businesses that can be shared with customers/visitors
  • Developing "trails"
  • Developing group events, festivals, etc.
  • Partnering with community groups i.e. schools, churches, prisons, hospitals to cross-promote events and activities
  • Becoming involved with your local Chamber of Commerce and other civic groups

Evaluating and Learning from Your Marketing Successes (and Failures)

A vital aspect of marketing that is often overlooked is evaluation. Consumer needs and desires change, people move or experience life changes, and marketing tools (such as digital and social media platforms) evolve. Identifying evaluation metrics and collecting data on each of those metrics is essential.

Evaluation tools include:

  • Transaction data
  • In-person communication

Possible evaluation metrics include

  • Customers/participants
  • Sales quantities
  • Number of events held

Managing Risk in Marketing

Marketing risk exists in many forms. It may be from prices, market access, or changing consumer demographics and/or trends. Continually assessing current trends in agritourism and the type of consumer that different activities or products appeal to is essential. For instance, while pumpkin patches and corn mazes have existed now for some time, there is a growing trend in the offering of classes for consumers to experience how products are made (such as cheese) or how to use what is purchased (such as cooking or flower arranging classes).

External events such as natural disasters, economic or health crises have the potential to impact your business substantially and quickly.  Offering diverse opportunities such as in person and online "experiences" can help eliminate risk.  Internal events can also create marketing risk.  A disgruntled employee, for instance, could spread falsehoods or rumors that impact public perception of you or your business.  Ability to assess the environment, pivot, adapt, and respond can determine how your business weathers marketing risk.

Action Steps for Addressing Marketing Risk

  • Research your target customers
  • Develop customer profiles
  • Determine your marketing mix (products/events/experiences and 'product' mixes, prices, placement, promotional activities)
  • Develop a marketing plan   --  Define metrics and assessment methods   --  Include contingency plans across all aspects

References and Resources

Chase, L. C., Stewart, M., Schilling, B., Smith, B., & Walk, M. (2018). Agritourism: Toward a conceptual framework for industry analysis . Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(1), 13–19.

George, H. and E. Rilla. 2011. Marketing Strategies for Agritourism Operations . University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.  Publication 8444.

Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet . Pew Research Center. Washington, D.C. June 12, 2019.

Singh-Kights, D. and C. Martel. (2016). Innovation and Collaboration in the Agritourism Supply Chain – Cluster Development and Implications for Marketing. ANREP/NACDEP Conference, Burlington, VT June 26-29, 2016.

Lottridge, S. (n.d.). Winery Branding: Attract More Customers by Telling Your Story .

Share of U.S. adults using social media, including Facebook, is mostly unchanged since 2018 .  Pew Research Center. Washington, D.C. April 10,2019.

Social Media Fact Sheet . Pew Research Center. Washington, D.C. June 12, 2019.

Taylor, Peter. (December 2, 2018). Big Data Mining Previews 2019's Hottest Vacation Trends And The Future Of Online Travel . Forbes.

Zorfas, A., & Leemon, D. (2017, April 24). An Emotional Connection Matters More than Customer Satisfaction .

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2018-70027-28588. Northeast Extension Risk Management Education US Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA)

Sarah Cornelisse

  • Value-added agriculture
  • Agricultural entrepreneurship
  • Value-added dairy entrepreneurship
  • Value-added dairy foods marketing
  • Online marketing and sales
  • Social media
  • Direct marketing
  • Farm and ag business management
  • Business planning

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Home to the University of Idaho, Moscow (aka Fest City) is known for its lively celebrations and charming hometown vibe. Whether you’re exploring picturesque landscapes, rocking out at a music festival or indulging in mouthwatering local cuisine, this welcoming city offers an array of experiences for every style of adventurer. The only question is, where should you begin?

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See + Explore

With so many things to do, your weekend getaway in Moscow might just turn into a weeklong retreat! Indulge in some retail therapy, immerse yourself in the great outdoors or show some spirit at a sporting event.

Drink + Dine

Pop into one of our local eateries and sample everything from burgers to bouillabaisse. Or, sip your way through Moscow’s craft beer scene and find an ale to cure your ails.

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Stay + Play

Looking for your ultimate basecamp? Take your pick of hotels in the heart of the action, cozy B&Bs and more.

Upcoming Events

Immerse yourself in cinematic magic at a film festival or enjoy family-friendly fun at the annual Renaissance fair. Mark your calendars and stay up to date with the latest happenings in Fest City.

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It’s time to shop ’til you drop, local style! Snag this exclusive gift card and experience the magic of Moscow’s businesses.

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Moscow courts UAE to bump up inbound tourism

The majority of Moscow's tourism is from internal visitors but it is hoping the UAE and wider Gulf can change that

  • Moscow targetting UAE tourism
  • International visitors 10% of total
  • Gulf tourists spend more

Moscow aims to double the number of annual visitors from the UAE this year, to expand its international tourist base amid headwinds such as the war with Ukraine. 

Bulat Nurmukhanov, head of the International Cooperation Division at Moscow City Tourism Committee (MCTC), told AGBI that while the Russian capital’s domestic tourism has broadly recovered since the pandemic, international tourism has yet to do so. 

Moscow received 24.3 million visitors in 2023, he said, of which 2.3 million were international and the rest were from elsewhere in Russia. In 2019, Moscow recorded 25 million visitors, of which four million were from overseas.  

  • In Dubai, it looks like the Russians are staying
  • Moscow still a key destination for Middle East tourists
  • UAE-Russia trade grows as Putin arrives in Gulf

“Despite the challenges Moscow faces today, it has almost recovered its pre-Covid visitor flow of 2019 – our best year for the industry, helped by the effect of hosting the Fifa World Cup in 2018,” Nurmukhanov said.  

“But most of these are domestic tourists. We hope that by working with new markets such as the UAE, we can restructure the international tourism base and attract more visitors from the Emirates and wider GCC.”

Moscow has yet to calculate the number of visitors from the UAE last year, but it is a small proportion of the overseas total, according to Nurmukhanov. However, it is an important source market because of its higher-than-average spend per visit. 

“They’re helping load Moscow’s five-star hotels”, he said. These are not as popular among domestic tourists and other nationalities as three and four-star hotels. 

Bulat Nurmukhanov of the Moscow City Tourism Committee hopes working with the UAE can ' restructure the international tourism base'

Last summer, MCTC revealed that tourists from the Middle East accounted for more than 30 percent of Moscow’s total tourist flow from outside the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2022. 

“Middle Eastern countries are among the most promising markets for inbound tourism,” the committee noted. 

In the UAE, the number of Russian tourists and investors leapt in the year after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, as Russian businesses sought a safe haven free of sanctions imposed on them by the West. 

Bilateral trade between the two countries has also risen sharply , by 63 percent between January and September 2023 to $9 billion, according to Russia’s government. 

Nurmukhanov said: “We’re already receiving a decent amount of tourists from the UAE and want to make sure that now, we adapt our infrastructure and design new hospitality products, entertainment and offerings that will be in their interest.” 

The strategy includes enhancing relationships between Moscow and UAE hotels, travel agents and tour operators; improving restaurants’ halal offerings; translating menus and other literature to Arabic, and promoting popular activities such as bear hunting, helicopter trips and horse riding.  

Some Moscow hotels even help GCC tourists to purchase warm clothing for their trip, Nurmukhanov said. Gulf visitors can obtain visas on arrival in Russia, and in November a rapid e-visa service was extended to other countries.  

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  1. (PDF) Model Farm of Agri-Tourism Project Proposal Project Information

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  2. Agriculture Farming, Goat Farming, Agritourism Farms, Farm Tourism, Csa

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    An agritourism business plan contains much of the same information you'd see for other industries. Here on Bplans, we've got a great guide already on how to write a traditional business plan. ... If you're ready to start your own agritourism business, you can download our free sample agritourism business plan from our library of over 550 ...

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  16. Marketing Your Agritourism Business

    Source: Chase, et al. 2018. Understanding how different activities can be categorized can guide you as you develop the marketing strategy for your agritourism business. For instance, while you may sell tangible products (apples, jams, pumpkins, etc.) to visitors, overall, the "product" you're often offering to consumers is the experience.

  17. The Moscow Chamber of Commerce: Visit Moscow, Idaho

    Welcome to Moscow. Home to the University of Idaho, Moscow (aka Fest City) is known for its lively celebrations and charming hometown vibe. Whether you're exploring picturesque landscapes, rocking out at a music festival or indulging in mouthwatering local cuisine, this welcoming city offers an array of experiences for every style of adventurer.

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  19. PDF Strategic Plan 2020-2025

    2020-2025 Strategic Plan 3 The Mission of the Agency is to promote sustainable economic growth, vitality, and community enhancement through collaboration and community investment. Mission GROWTH Grow the local economy to increase community vitality, resilience, and strength ENHANCEMENT Enhance and contribute to community assets that make Moscow a great place to live, work, and play

  20. Moscow courts UAE to bump up inbound tourism

    Last summer, MCTC revealed that tourists from the Middle East accounted for more than 30 percent of Moscow's total tourist flow from outside the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2022. "Middle Eastern countries are among the most promising markets for inbound tourism," the committee noted. In the UAE, the number of Russian tourists ...