Agritourism Re-Launched at Conference in Dublin

Press Release

 

Agritourism Re-Launched at Conference in Dublin

 

The Irish Self Catering Federation in conjunction with Teagasc Rural Development hosted members of farming families at an Agritourism conference at Teagasc, Ashtown on 22 May. The event was kicked off by Minister Pippa Hackett, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and moderated by Barry Caslin, Rural Development Specialist at Teagasc.

Minister Hackett stated Agritourism can play an important part in building resilience within rural Ireland and has opportunities for farm families to develop on-farm tourism businesses.  Agritourism has a long-term sustainable future in Ireland that delivers a high-quality, authentic visitor experience and also helps support the future of family farms and the wider rural economy, bringing vibrant stainable income to families. This brings together tourism, heritage, culture and local foods.  She also referenced the importance of bio-districts where  different businesses work together for sustainable management of local resources baed on social environmental, ecumenic and ethical standards.

A wealth of information on a range of topics was provided at the day-long event, including Funding, Planning Permission, Insurance for farm diversification, Renewable energy options and the role of state agencies in developing a business plan.

Máire ní Mhurchú chaired the first of two Champions of farm diversification discussions where businesses discussed the lessons learned from setting up and running a business. Con Quill (Blarney Caravan and Camping)  CEO of Camping_Ireland was joined by self-catering business owners  Noelle Casey  (Knockarrig House, Kerry), Niall Heenan (Fuchsia Lane Farm, Tipperary), Niamh Byrne (Abhain-Rí, Wicklow) have changed their businesses in past 30 years. Glamping pod business owners Veronica Kelleher (Curragh Farm) and Chris o Sullivan (Goats Pod Park, Sheeps Head) discussed how they developed and managed their businesses. Barry o Brien,  a farmer from Monaghan built Little House Baragh Log Cabin  in early Covid with the aim of bringing more tourists to Monaghan’s lakeland region

 

Maire ni Mhurchú stated that we need to look at the family farm with a visitor who will see the beauty of rural Ireland, peace, remoteness and off the beaten path places in rural areas.  ‘Agritourism has been an important rural income source in Germany, Austria and Italy with Scotland joining the movement in the past 10 years. Covid has changed the priorities of the consumer with more outdoor living and activity as well as sustainability and a customer focused service needs to be at the heart of the business and an understanding that the personal touch is essential.  There needs to be more accommodation in Agritourism to make up for the shortfall in hotel accommodation, with 37-50% beds gone to Government contracts. Ireland now has an opportunity to develop tourism offerings in rural areas, giving sustainable family incomes to those who have a clear vision of their offering.’ Customers want an high end experience with hot tubs,

 

Barry Carlin Teagasc, Rural Development Specialist said; “Rural Tourism is a perfect way to stimulate real impetus into encouraging footfall out of the towns and cities. There is such diversity in rural Ireland’s visitor activities and attractions, as well as in our specialist farm food producers, all of which make a very compelling case to venture out of the city boundaries. Over the past few years, fantastic diversified farm and rural businesses have opened up to visitors. There is a genuine focus on providing a great experience and developing unique local features and skills. This conference provides important guidance which complements the resurgent interest in Irish food, heritage and holidays”

 

 

 

 

     
Teagasc Press Release https://www.teagasc.ie/news–events/news/2023/agritourism-2023–agrit.php  
Bio Districts https://www.ecoregion.info/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/O1-A2_Organic_Districts_Guidelines.pdf  
Fuchsia Lane Farm https://fuchsialanefarm.com/  
Goats Path Pod Park http://www.goatspathpods.ie/  
Balrney Caravan and Campsite    
CampingIReland    
Knockcarrigh Farm    
Curragh Farm    
Little House Baragh    
     
     

 

 

Setting up-on farm holiday accommodation, in the form of bed and breakfast or self-catering cottages is a popular choice for diversification. There are now many other choices of accommodation such as glamping, pods, shepherds huts and yurts. There are opportunities for farmers to complement existing accommodation providers by developing complementary activity businesses such as kayaking, fishing boats, gillie services, cycling, heritage talks, walking tours, artisan food shops etc.  This conference called “Agritourism 2023” provided a guide to rural dwellers on diversification opportunities in agri-tourism.

Minister Pippa Hackett said at the conference that “Agritourism can play an important part in building resilience within rural Ireland. Agritourism has a long-term sustainable future in Ireland that delivers a high-quality, authentic visitor experience and also helps support the future of family farms and the wider rural economy. The Agritourism 2023 conference is an excellent networking event which will help rural entrepreneurs on their journey towards developing an agritourism project in our iconic landscape which will help in bringing together urban and rural communities”

At the conference Barry Caslin, Teagasc, Rural Development Specialist said; “Rural Tourism is a perfect way to stimulate real impetus into encouraging footfall out of the towns and cities. There is such diversity in rural Ireland’s visitor activities and attractions, as well as in our specialist farm food producers, all of which make a very compelling case to venture out of the city boundaries. Over the past few years, fantastic diversified farm and rural businesses have opened up to visitors. There is a genuine focus on providing a great experience and developing unique local features and skills. This conference provides important guidance which complements the resurgent interest in Irish food, heritage and holidays” Today’s visitor demands high-end fixtures and fittings and luxuries ranging from hot tubs to pizza ovens, but they are willing to dig deep for that experience.

Máire Ní Mhurchú, Chair of Irish Self Catering Federation “A holiday is quite an expense for people so they want, and demand, better than they have at home. Tourists are looking for locally loved places off the beaten path. They want the personal experience of living in close proximity to the family farm and being a part of the experience. For some regions, tourism is a fundamental part of the local economy. Today’s visitor demands high-end fixtures and fittings and luxuries ranging from hot tubs to pizza ovens, but they are willing to dig deep for that experience”

Máire Ní Mhurchú chair Irish Self Catering Federation and Minister Pippa Hackett TD. – Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, with Barry Caslin, Teagasc Energy & Rural development Specialist at ISCF / Teagasc Agritourism Conference, at the Teagasc, National Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin.
Photo: John Ohle Photography.
info@ohlephotography.ie
Máire Ní Mhurchú chair Irish Self Catering Federation and Minister Pippa Hackett TD. – Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, with Barry Caslin, Teagasc Energy & Rural development Specialist at ISCF / Teagasc Agritourism Conference, at the Teagasc, National Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin.
Photo: John Ohle Photography.
info@ohlephotography.ie