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Who are the Scottish Agritourism Sector Group?

Working together to support agritourism

The Scottish Agritourism Sector Group has expertise in agritourism, farming, crofting, food and drink and tourism. The group is working with government to explore how agritourism can deliver a range of Scottish Government policies across tourism, agriculture and food and drink.

The group includes a mixture of government, private sector businesses, public sector development agencies and international experts in agritourism. 

Its aim is to build on existing work to develop the sector and existing data to create a national strategy for agritourism focused around consumer demand, quality of experience, sustainability and a clearly defined sector and customer experience. 

It hopes to understand international benchmarking from other countries, the type and scale of their agritourism sector and the policies and activities that have supported growth of the sector. This will identify what elements of international success may be well suited to Scotland. 

The group will discuss and review the collective sector ambitions identified by entrepreneurs in the sector and to use the expertise of the group to identify what policies and actions will facilitate these sector ambitions, highlight gaps, understand what success will look like and set targets and areas of responsibility for delivery.

What are the ambitions of the agritourism sector?

  • Be able to advise people what type of experiences / activities to offer if they are entering the sector or looking to grow– any future capital grant support to benefit overall quality offering of the sector
  • To be an international destination for agritourism, using our high quality / welfare farm produce, history of farm hospitality, authentic people, stunning landscapes and farming culture to drive economic impact for the rural economy
  • To be 'go to' weekly places to visit to buy farm food and drink, visit for exercise and to access green spaces, taste great food and help visitors understand responsible tourism – the local market and Scottish urban market is as important to the sector as UK and international markets
  • To ensure that agritourism has a strong agri, food and drink and experiential component to stand out as a differentiated market offering and ensuring there is 'agri' in agritourism
  • To be the sales and marketing arm of Scottish agriculture by bringing thousands of people on to Scottish farms each year, building demand for Scottish farm produce
  • To be leading the way in net zero rural tourism and complementing environmental and biodiversity good practice in farming businesses
  • To help sustain the future of the family farm in Scotland by providing a vital additional income stream from an activity which supports and benefits agriculture, helping to alleviate the impact of subsidy changes
  • To continue to play a key role in facilitating women to become decision makers / owners in the farming business or connected tourism business of the farm

The sector

There are approximately 500 business within the Scottish agritourism sector currently.

In June we launched a Scottish agritourism growth tracker to show the impact that the sector has on the Scottish economy, the role it plays to sustain businesses and rural communities and its propensity for growth.

The growth strategy will be launched by Mairi Gougeon at the Scottish Agritourism Conference on 10 November 2021.

Scottish Agritourism 2030 | The Strategy for Sustainable Growth

Scottish Agritourism 2030 – The Strategy for Sustainable Growth sets out a shared vision for the sector, one that aims to sustainably develop the rural economy, protect family farms for future generations, build consumer awareness and loyalty towards local produce, and celebrate the history and heritage of these important Scottish communities. The strategy, which will be supported by a staged action plan, includes a collaborative approach from the public and private sectors both in Scotland and internationally.

Other objectives include attracting and retaining a skilled, committed and diverse workforce, creating and promoting a thriving and responsible sector and increasing the number of real working farms that offer a food and drink experience. With growing consumer interest in food provenance and sustainable tourism, it's hoped the strategy will position agritourism at the forefront of visitors’ minds when seeking ways to enjoy, appreciate and understand the best of Scotland’s natural larder.

Scottish Agritourism 2030 – The Strategy for Sustainable Growth

Published November 2021

Meeting key notes and actions

The Scottish Agritourism Sector Group meets regularly, and this page includes key notes and actions from its meetings. 

Agritourism Growth Strategy Group members

Name

Organisation

Position

Caroline Millar

Scottish Agritourism

The Hideaway Experience

Sector Lead & Sector Representative

Kay Wilson

Lennox of Lomond, Argyll

Owner &

Sector Representative

Robert Wilson

Wilsons Farm & Kitchen, Scottis Borders

Owner &

Sector Representative

Ailsa Currie

Bellevue Farm Cottages & Tours, Arran

Owner &

Sector Representative

Anna Lamotte

Guardswell Farm, Perthshire

Owner & Sector Representative

Aimee Budge

Bigton Farm, Perthshire

Owner &

Sector Representative

Riddell Graham

VisitScotland

Director of Industry and Destination Development

Ken Massie

VisitScotland

Head of Regional Leadership and Development

Julian Pace

Scottish Enterprise

Head of Partnerships

Neil Ross

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Head of Community Growth Team

Kate Dagg

South of Scotland Enterprise

Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Engagement

Fiona Richmond

Scotland Food and Drink

Head of Regional Food

Jonathon Hall

NFU Scotland

Head of Policy

Malcolm Mathieson

Crofting Commission

Convenor

Trevor Benson

Canadian Agritourism

Industry Representative, Canada

Thomas Philipp Streifeneder, P.H.D

Eurac Research

Head of Institute for Rural Development Industry Representative, Italy

Hans Embacher Mag

Holidays on the Farm

Industry Representative, Austria