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Marketing Quality Rural Tourism

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Agri-tourism investment and revenue in France (*)
document type: article
keywords: tourism / research and development
source: LEADER technical dossier
last update:3/95

A survey conducted in France on the motivations and achievements of farmers involved in agri-tourism shows that, among this group, the importance it represents is steadily rising: 36% of the farmers questioned predicted that their tourism activity would take on at least the same proportions as their agricultural occupation in five years' time.

Women assume the bulk of the responsibilities for the tourism activity. They are motivated by a wish for contact with the outside world, the search for additional income and the desire to make the most of their property. Analysis of the economic results reveals very large disparities from farm to farm. Accommodation provision brings in an average of 2 860 ECU per year. When meals are also offered, income rises to between 3 150 ECU and 5 430 ECU. Farms offering horse riding and inns are well out in front with annual income of between 7 900 and 11 000 ECU.

Six factors appear to have a decisive impact on results regardless of the type of activity:

- accommodation capacity and occupation rate must be sufficient for the paying off of investments;

- the price level must be competitive, thus ensuring growth, while being profitable, thus giving a return on the work and capital invested;

- tourism work, which is highly seasonal, must integrate into the farm's work schedule;

- a close rein must be kept on operating and infrastructure costs;

- tourism activities must be extended outside the holiday season as far as possible;

- training and personal skills are also important for the development of farm tourism.

(*) "Les facteurs de résistance à la marginalisation dans les zones de montagne et défavorisées méditerranéennes communautaires", op. cit.

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