Tourism has long been identified as one of the most prosperous industries for New Zealand, not only helping tourists visit the amazing place we call home but also providing thousands of jobs up and down the country.
A sub-category within the tourism industry that continues to grow is the burgeoning sector of Agritourism in New Zealand. Industry expert and Agritourism NZ CEO Marijke Dunselman shares her insights and strategies for success.
With a focus on New Zealand's central Otago region, Dunselman discusses the changing landscape of tourism, noting a significant increase in affluent travellers. This demographic shift, as Dunselman points out, leads to longer stays and higher spending, particularly from American and European visitors.
"At the moment, people are spending more and staying longer," she observes, highlighting a trend that benefits local businesses and encourages deeper regional exploration.
Dunselman emphasises the importance of rural experiences in enhancing New Zealand's reputation as a safe, premium travel destination. She discusses her collaboration with high-country stations to refine their offerings.
"It's really fine-tuning that offering and the pricing and the marketing."
She also touches on the potential for collaboration between farms to create high-value experiences, like developing multi-day walks. Another focal point of the conversation is the agritourism Academy, which Dunselman has been developing for a year. The academy offers a platform for online learning, community interaction, and a wealth of resources for agritourism operators.
"There's all these very in-depth training courses," Dunselman explains, also mentioning weekly Q&A sessions and the opportunity for community members to collaborate and support each other.
Looking ahead, Dunselman talks about an upcoming free webinar aimed at those curious about agritourism. Scheduled for February 23rd, the webinar aims to shed light on the viability and opportunities within the sector. She also shares plans for an exchange program with Agritourism Tasmania, including a trip to a notable Agritourism conference and reciprocal visits to foster cross-cultural collaboration and learning.
The episode encapsulates the essence of New Zealand's agritourism potential, driven by knowledgeable and passionate individuals like Marijke Dunselman. Through her insights, listeners gain a deeper understanding of the sector's dynamics and the strategies needed to navigate and thrive within it.
Listen to the full chat between Marijke Dunselman and Dominic George above.