Agri Food Tourism Development Program

The Agri Food Tourism Development Program has been developed to assist local agribusinesses to diversify and expand their tourism offerings.

What is the Agri Food Tourism Development Program?

Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland, in collaboration with Destination Riverland and the Murray River, Lakes & Coorong Tourism Alliance, will be delivering the Agri Food Tourism Development (AFTD) Program over three stages through grant funding by the Australian Government under the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program (MDBEDP).

Stage One of the AFTD Program will focus primarily on towns located in the Riverland, including Berri, Barmera, Cobdogla, Loxton, and extending to Swan Reach.

Stage Two of the Program will be delivered in towns located in the Murraylands and Riverland, including Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge, Mannum, Blanchetown, Morgan and Waikerie.

Stage Three will enable participants to collaborate across the region and open up opportunities to develop region-wide agritourism experiences.

Through this staged process we intend to achieve:

  • Businesses diversifying to create value-add opportunities (including tourism) to increase profits
  • Increases in and promotion of the amount of local produce on local menus
  • More food and beverage trails, and pick your own and farm stay experiences.

What is Agritourism?

DEFINITION OF AGRITOURISM: “A tourism related experience or product that connects agricultural products, people or places with visitors on a farm or rural land.”

According to Australian Regional Tourism, over 7 million visitors seek agritourism (farm gate and winery) experiences in Australia each year, with a total value of around $11 billion to the Australian economy. And it’s growing! Between December 2016 and 2017, domestic farm gate stays increased by 65%, and international overnight farm gate visits increased by 81%.

In recognition of this trend, of our region’s strengths in agribusiness, and our connection with the Murray River, Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland, Destination Riverland and the Murray River, Lakes & Coorong Tourism Alliance have combined efforts to maximise the agritourism potential across our region.

How will the Program achieve its goals?

The AFTD Program will provide opportunities for agribusinesses to leverage from the increasing consumer demand for knowledge of food provenance, including regional and farm stories behind the produce they consume.

The Program will bring food and agritourism experts to the region to work with local agri- and food businesses who are interested in expanding and diversifying into agri- and food tourism opportunities, such as farm stays, farm tours, ‘pick your own’ trails, and local food experiences and tastings.

Participating businesses will be provided with the resources to initiate and grow business opportunities and to develop relationships between local producers, and purveyors of local food and beverage.

Advice from select experts is provided free of charge to AFTD Program participants.

Julie Bates