Agritourism in Colorado: The Visitors, the Economics and the Opportunities Dawn Thilmany & Martha Sullins Colorado State University Extension Department of Ag & Resource Economics March 2007 Photo: Tammy Mattics Photo: Randy Mills Photo: Pat Martin Photo: Joel Boymel
Growing Agritourism in Colorado • Understanding the landscape • Producer inventory, 2005 – Colorado Dept of Agriculture • Agritourism directory on-line, 2007 – Colorado Dept of Agriculture • Producer inventory, 2007 – Colorado Dept of Agriculture & CSU Photo: Nat Coalson
Growing Agritourism in Colorado • Understanding Colorado’s agritourists” • Consumer survey, 2007 – Colorado Dept of Agriculture & CSU Photo: Karen Seim
Growing Agritourism in Colorado • Supporting businesses & communities • 3 producer workshops (Steamboat, Akron) • 2 scheduled workshops (La Junta, Cortez, Delta) • Numerous community outreach presentations • 4 fact sheets and more to come for tech. asst. Photo: Mary Erlenborn
In Colorado, agritourism includes: • Outdoorrecreation (fishing, hunting, wildlife photography, horseback riding). • Educational experiences (farm and cannery tours, cooking classes, wine tasting, cattle drives, farm work). • Entertainment (harvest festivals, corn mazes). • Hospitality services (farm and ranch stays, guided tours, outfitter services). • On-farmdirect sales (u-pick operations, roadside stands). • Off-the-farmdirect sales (farmers’ markets, county and state fairs, special events). Photo: Jim Deeds Photo: Tina Beedy Photo: Carol Lauer Photo: Susan Hickel
Why is agritourism important? • The travel and tourism industry has become increasingly important in the Intermountain West: • 90% of total employment in some counties is in the industry • A total of 106 Western rural counties had more than 1,000 travel and tourism jobs in 2000 • Ag income & diversification: • $10.1 million in recreational services in 2002 • Moffat had highest recreational income at $1.3 million (63% of total farm income) • Tourism as Ag Industry Education/Promotion Tool!! Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Economic Review, 2003; USDA Census of Ag., 2002.
Targeting traveler segments • “Cluster” visitors by like characteristics • Planning • Mode of travel • Activities chosen • Expenditures, etc. • Easier to develop cohesive marketing strategies than for “average” traveler • We can define them… ….target those with greatest potential …..and create recommendations
Agritourism visitors by cluster Out-of-State Activity Seekers 97% out of state +970,000/year Spend $228/day * Mostly unplanned Family Ag Adventurers 76% out of state +4.5 million/year $153/day *plan for agritourism; travel long distances Loyal CO Enthusiasts 62% in-state +3.6 million/year $110/day *diverse agritourism activities; return often Visitorship based on estimates of 13.1 million agritourists visiting Colorado in 2006.
Agritourism visitors by cluster In-State Explorers 62% in-state +3.9 million/year $132/day *least interested in agritourism but culinary events may be key Accidental Tourists 65% out of state 424,000/year $87/day *no leisure planning
Economic contribution • Overall, 13.2 million visitors engaged in some agritourism in 2006: • Total contribution to economy estimated at $2.2 billion with $1.26 billion in direct activity • $1.7 billion from out of state bigger impact • 14% of total tourism by CTO estimates • 14,665 in direct employment (7% of tourism) • Will these numbers be maintained or grow in 2007 and beyond? Photo: Spencer George
Looking ahead to… Partnerships & networks Of 398 in-state; 500 out-of-state travelers. Multiple responses given 54% used 1 information source; 18% used 2 sources; 11% used 3 different ones.
Looking ahead to… Community-level considerations Ave. satisfaction w/activities=1.58 (scale 1-5); less satisfaction w/some infrastructure No. times mentioned across all respondents
Planning for…Producer concerns Source: 2007 Producer Survey, Colorado Dept. of Agriculture. N=91
Challenges • Shifting visitors from unplanned to planned agritourism • Increases expenditures at local level • Rounding out trips: 87% of all travelers were satisfied with their visits • But 13% would have liked more agritourism and other activities to round out their trip; would have paid for it • Creating impression that Colorado is a “good value” trip for them, especially those with large expense to travel • Especially those for whom CO is a big, planned expense on leisure • Improving tourism infrastructure for agritourism • Tying more on-farm & ranch activities to food-oriented events • Directional signage to make travelers more aware & directed • Interpretative signage for those wanting an educational experience
Partnerships to Address Challenges • Colorado Tourism Office • Expand information and promotion through these popular planning resources • Colorado Department of Agriculture • Directories, MarketMaker • Other Partnerships • USDA Rural Development programs, Division of Wildlife, County Ag Boards and Economic Development agencies
www.coloradoagritourism.com For Consumers
Colorado Farm Fresh • 24th Edition • New! Agritourism Activities • Over 100 farms that sell direct to public • 90,000 copies distributed statewide
New Resource for Promotion • Market Maker is a free tool to: • Help Consumers find Producers • Help Producers Promote their Operations and Products • Assess the food and agriculture of an area: Providing an inventory and great networking resource
Search Example Can zoom into or out of an area…. Leverages databases and directories
Promotion Possibilities MarketMaker is coming to Colorado!! Collaboration of CDA and CSU Extension We will add the agritourism directory Important to get everyone’s information Develop your Web presence now Other Features Buyers/sellers forum More search capabilities
Who are Colorado’s “agritourists?” • The Average Traveler to Colorado agritourism in 2005-06 • 57% out-of-state (AZ, NM or UT), varies by region • 37% had incomes over $75,000/year while only 12% earned under $30,000/year • 46 years old and 73% married: • 20% parents w/children under 6; while 22% have kids 6+ years old; • 15% are retired couples; 28% are younger couples, no kids • 15% are singles • 90% identified themselves as White (7% of these Hispanic) • How does this affect your marketing strategies?? • Corresponds to other surveys on general & heritage traveler characteristics
Resources • Fact sheets at http://dare.agsci.colostate.edu/csuagecon/extension/pubstools.htm • Of Wine and Wildlife: Assessing Market Potential for Colorado Agritourism • Colorado’s Agritourists: Who are the Adventurers, the Seekers and the Explorers? • Agritourism in Colorado: A Closer Look at Regional Trends • Web site • www.coloradoagritourism.com
What are travelers spending? * Significantly different at a 95% confidence level.