In recent years, rural tourism has become increasingly popular in our country. At the same time, the share of this type of recreation in the structure of domestic tourism is estimated at only two percent. This suggests that numerous eco-farms, ethnoparks, rural guest houses and so on exist today in the "gray zone". Amendments to the legislation, which are now under consideration in the State Duma, will allow them to be removed from there and make agritourism a driver of the rural economy.
Horseback riding, gastronomic festivals, reconstruction of rural holidays and customs - all over the world this form of leisure has long attracted people of all ages and incomes. Moreover, for the organizers, this is also a good business. Income from tourism services for farmers in Italy and Germany is close to 35 percent of their total profits.
“Russia is unique in its landscape, cultural and ethnographic features. We have everything for the mass development of agritourism, "says one of the authors of the bill on agritourism, first deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Agrarian Issues Vladimir Plotnikov. In his opinion, the lack of intelligible legislative regulation is holding back the development of this direction of the tourism industry. “There is a law on the development of agriculture and a law on the foundations for the development of tourism, but rural tourism does not fall under any of these legislative acts. Until now, there is not even a definition of what agritourism is, ”the deputy notes.
"Agritourism is multifaceted, and the choice of priorities here is quite important," says Ilya Kaletkin, an expert at the National Organic Union. Market researchers predict a great future for gastronomic tourism in our country.
"Gastronomic tourism, where consumers are shown how environmentally friendly products are produced, is not just an interesting leisure that is gaining popularity, it is real prospects for the region - jobs, attracting investments, the opportunity for villagers to master new professions" , - said the expert.
The state supports the development of this area - the law on ecological products has been adopted, which comes into force on January 1, 2020. However, according to Kaletkin, the mechanisms for supporting agritourism in Russia are still insufficient, and the existing ones, as a rule, are not transparent. “In Italy, the number of so-called gastronomic hotels in which tourists can taste the local cuisine prepared at them is in the thousands. This was achieved thanks to a simple and understandable mechanism: if an investor builds a hotel for agritourism, 50 percent of the costs are returned to him by the state. A domestic entrepreneur can only dream of such a thing, ”he said.
Gastronomic tourism, where consumers are shown how organic products are produced, is not just an interesting leisure time that is gaining popularity, it is a real prospect for the region.
Today, the inhabitants of big cities are so far from nature that many have never seen how a cow is milked or how wheat grows. Farms that host tourists will help you return to the origins.
Rest in the countryside is called "agritourism". The bottom line is that tourists are resting and having fun on the farms, paying landowners for accommodation and buying locally sourced food. Some work there in exchange for a roof over their heads.
Agritourism includes different types of activities, including:
Rural tourism is common in the USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, Spain and France and other countries.
Agritourism is widespread in the United States. Many people travel the country working on different farms in exchange for housing and food. Since the 19th century, a kind of "inns" (guest or dude ranches) have been popular here, which receive tourists. Some farms are open to visitors in winter and summer, while others are open all year round. From July to August, the ranches are especially popular with students who are hired as au pair and combine out-of-town vacations with earning opportunities.
There are especially many tourist farms in Colorado, Montana, Texas, Arizona and Wyoming.
For example, the Black Mountain Ranch has been operating in Colorado since 1903, offering Western-style adventures: horse riding, plate shooting, rodeo visits, fishing, cattle driving, the art of lasso handling and rafting down the stormy river. A week of rest costs from $ 2,050
In Arizona, you can relax at the Apache Spirit Ranch, built in 1881 and decorated in the style of an old Wild West town. The farm is located next to Toomstone, a village that still retains its 19th-century appearance and in which the western "Toomstone - Legend of the Wild West" was filmed. The ranch teaches horse riding and poker, Native American legends, and American and Mexican cuisine. Accommodation costs $ 200-400 per day.
Rural or agritourism appeared in the third quarter of the twentieth century, as a result of the crisis of farms, their lack of competitiveness in comparison with large agricultural complexes. In search of new sources of income, seeking to stop the outflow of rural residents to cities, the government invited farmers to invite those who wish to plunge into the atmosphere of rural life, as well as take a break from urban everyday life. Nowadays, rural tourism has become an independent and very profitable branch of tourism activity. Its share is up to 20% in the total turnover of the tourism business.
The greatest development of rural tourism occurs in Western Europe. In the United States, this kind of vacation is also on a large scale. Cash turnover is measured in hundreds of millions of dollars. The main consumers of the service are middle managers and other employees who do not want and do not have the opportunity for more expensive types of recreation.
There are also several advantages for organizers of rural recreation:
One of the most important aspects of rural tourism is a beneficial effect on the economic condition of the region, this is new jobs for the local population and additional funds to the treasury of the region, in the form of taxes, and the accompanying development of infrastructure necessary to attract and comfortable rest of tourists.
Gradually, rural green tourism, when the townspeople just wanted to relax in the fresh air in a calm atmosphere, correcting health undermined by the stuffiness and pace of the city, is complemented by other types, for example, historical. People increasingly want to spend time in the old castle or the former estate of the nobility.
Following the rest of the world towards the development of agritourism, Russia also began to move. However, this is still a fairly new phenomenon in the tourism business in Russia. If in Europe, due to the growing popularity of this type of recreation, under the auspices of the Council of Europe, the European Association for the Development of Rural Tourism was established, in which 24 countries already have membership. So far only a few regions are closely involved with us. Among them are the Krasnodar Territory, Altai, Karelia and several others. However, in the near future, increased interest is expected in all regions. Although, at first glance, it is not so difficult to organize tourism in the countryside. But there are certain requirements that guests, who are accustomed for the most part to the comfort of a city apartment and other city amenities, make to rural tourism objects; they are not so easy to fulfill in the countryside of the Russian hinterland.
Rural tourism in Russia, in principle, is interesting to the consumer. According to the research conducted, the majority of respondents are ready to pay from 500 to 1000 rubles per day, including meals, for rest in a house with partial conveniences. As for the residents of the capital, they are ready to pay many times more, but the requirements for comfort are much higher, up to a comfortable cottage with all the amenities and household appliances. Unfortunately, most of the Russian villages do not meet the requirements.
Have you ever fed geese? Or drive a tractor? Do you remember the last time you drank fresh milk and woke up from a cock crow? The situation is fixable. The next vacation should be spent ... on the farm.
To be honest, all-inclusive rest is the most popular among our compatriots. But about 35% of Europeans prefer agritourism. And the popularity of this direction is growing every year. And not only abroad: recently our townspeople have “reached out to the ground”.
So what is agritourism? This is not a tour of agronomists, but a vacation in the countryside, which, if desired, can be combined with work on the farm. This is a return to the roots, to the earth, to peace of mind.
It would seem, why work on vacation? The fact is that the human body, tired of sedentary work and a sedentary lifestyle, perceives any physical activity as rest, as an energy resource.
Sport is also energizing, but not everyone finds pleasure in it. Agritourism offers an alternative. Mowing grass, baking bread, making cheese on his own, grazing sheep - from any of these activities, the pale city dweller has a feeling of almost a feat or, at least, a real adventure. The main word here is "real".
Of course, no one will force you to work, however, as the European experience shows, office clerks who are not accustomed to physical labor are themselves glad of this opportunity.
We are now very dependent on everyday comfort, on the familiar infrastructure that gives us everything we need, at any time. This is transport, shopping, entertainment, food, imposed by advertising. A trip to the farm shakes off all the husks from us, all unnecessary with minimal sacrifices - the absence of the Internet and instant vermicelli.
The owners of the leased farm are now quite capable of providing the usual comfort. A prerequisite for agrotourists is accommodation in villages, villages, small towns, where there are no multi-storey buildings and there is no industry.
Usually this is an operating farm, where milk and cheese, honey or wine are produced, vegetables and herbs are grown, and livestock are kept.
The main feature of rural tourism is the living conditions: guests are accommodated in old log houses or in antique-style estates located in areas with untouched nature, away from industrial enterprises and multi-storey concrete buildings. With the exception of complexes with a complete historical reconstruction, such village hotels provide visitors with amenities at the level of resort apartments: the rooms have bathrooms, air conditioners, televisions and refrigerators, and in the dining room guests are provided with three meals a day. The main meaning of this type of recreation is to separate the inhabitants of megalopolises from the usual hustle and bustle and immerse themselves in a leisurely and measured rural life. In addition, the tours are also of an educational nature: many townspeople have never seen an authentic folk costume, did not sit with a fishing rod at dawn and did not milk a cow.
In Russia, rural tourism attracts mainly women, whose share in the target audience reaches 70%. Living in the village can be interesting for other residents of megalopolises - married couples with children and young people who prefer a healthy lifestyle and ecological cleanness of the environment.
Another fairly broad category of tourists is foreign citizens who want to get acquainted with cultural traditions and folklore. For such guests, the natural environment, national flavor and authenticity of rural life are sometimes more important than the presence of a TV in the room. Considering that foreigners choose places for recreation mainly via the Internet, it is necessary to develop their own multilingual website with colorful photographs, descriptions of services and a price list, as well as regularly place ads on foreign travel forums and social networks.
Collective field trips are also common in the corporate environment: managers of various companies buy similar tours for their employees in order to conduct events aimed at strengthening team spirit and working out ways of interaction between employees. Such clients usually rent a hotel for a period of several hours to two or three days and pay much more for it than ordinary private visitors.
Finally, the concept of rural tourism development implies close interaction with tour operators: companies interested in cooperation on favorable terms will not only post information about home hotel services on their website and in promotional materials, but will also help in developing high-quality tourist product, organize a transfer and entertainment program.
99% of residents of large cities have never heated their houses with a stove, milked a cow or mowed hay, so such a pastime can become a real exotic for them. It is also incredibly interesting and surprising for urban children and adolescents, whose entertainment and everyday life is incredibly far from the rural routine. It is on this that the uniqueness of a business idea is based. Target audience: people with an average and high level of income (people with an income above the average from 30 to 50 years old, families with children, companies of young people under 30 years old).
The main pros and cons of this business should be considered before starting:
Step-by-step instructions will help you organize this small business, gain a foothold in a niche and make good money.