Local farms and crofts urged to take part in important survey

Farms, crofts and estates across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are being asked to take part in an annual census to help build a better understanding of what support is required to grow the country’s burgeoning on agritourism sector.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 8:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 8:01 am
Local farms and crofts are being urged to take part in the important survey. (Pic: VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale)
Local farms and crofts are being urged to take part in the important survey. (Pic: VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale)

The research, undertaken by VisitScotland in partnership with Scottish Agritourism, looks to establish the size and scale of the industry.

It is hoped attracting a broader range of respondents this year will create a clearer picture of the country’s agritourism offering and the impact that the sector has on the local and national economy.

The survey will not just look at those currently operating agritourism businesses but aims to include existing farming and crofting businesses that are considering adding agritourism to their operations. The results could be used to help shape future support for those starting out in the sector.

Last year’s inaugural Scottish Agritourism Growth Tracker revealed that as well as the opportunity for strong economic growth, the industry played a key role in sustaining and creating rural jobs, supporting vital family employment, and providing equal and inclusive roles for men and woman across various ages and skill levels.

The tracker suggested that if the strategy targets are achieved the combined value of agritourism and farm retail in 2030 would be around £250m and support almost 10,000 full time jobs.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Agritourism in Scotland is an exciting sector, which is expanding and offers a wide range of benefits. The Agritourism Growth Tracker is the perfect tool to analyse data, which will inform future decision-making and ensure the sector benefits from targeted support.

 “The tracker enables us to measure progress towards achievement of the objectives of the ‘Scottish Agritourism 2030 - Strategy for Sustainable Growth’. I would encourage everybody eligible to take the time to fill out the growth tracker.”

Rob Dickson, VisitScotland Director of Industry and Destination Development, said: “The Scottish Agritourism Growth tracker is an important piece of research that could shape how we work with this exciting sector in the future. Throughout the pandemic we saw the industry continue to grow in popularity, but the tracker also helped shed light on the unpararelled and wide-ranging benefits agritourism brings to society.

Caroline Millar, Sector Lead for Scottish Agritourism, said: “We are asking farmers and crofters across Scotland to take part in this second annual growth tracker. Half an hour of your time and your anonymous data will help to demonstrate the value that agritourism brings to Scotland’s economy and to your own local area. Your individual efforts will benefit all farmers and crofters in Scotland by showing collectively what we deliver and how the sector is performing on an annual basis.”

Results of the Scottish Agritourism Growth Tracker will be made available on www.visitscotland.org and www.scottishagritourism.co.uk later this year.

The survey closes on July 3, to participate visit: www.visitscotland.org/news/2022/agritourism-tracker-2022