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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

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agritourism in colorado the visitors the economics and the opportunities

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
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 colorado3
Growing Agritourism in Colorado
  • Understanding Colorado’s agritourists”
    • Consumer survey, 2007 – Colorado Dept of Agriculture & CSU

Photo: Karen Seim

slide4

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
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
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
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
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 cluster9
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
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
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
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
Planning for…Producer concerns

Source: 2007 Producer Survey, Colorado Dept. of Agriculture. N=91

challenges
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 cha llenges
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
slide17

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
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
Search Example

Can zoom into or out of an area….

Leverages databases and directories

promotion possibilities
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
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
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
What are travelers spending?

* Significantly different at a 95% confidence level.