Two business students from the University of Stirling are aiming to revolutionise the agritourism industry in Scotland after devising a new web platform linking holidaymakers with farm hosts.
George Benson and Mats Zachariassen, who are both studying for a MBA with Stirling Management School, are hoping their Airbnb-style website will help the sector realise its predicted £200million worth.
George, who is originally from Ghana, said: “Agritourism is currently a really niche market in Scotland. Not many agriculture businesses are aware of the potential revenue that could be generated by hosting tourists and those who do provide holiday experiences don’t advertise well. As a holidaymaker, it isn’t easy to find and book a stay or working holiday on a Scottish farm.
“Our website ‘Tour My Farm Experiences’ aims to change that by providing a central platform linking farm hosts and experience providers across Scotland with consumers, for the first time.”
Agritourism is a trend currently booming elsewhere in Europe, with Italy boasting 20,000 registered farms and an estimated value of €1.2billion (£1.04billion).
By encouraging more agritourists, bookings through the new website could also provide a further boost to Scotland’s already burgeoning food and drink industry. Research by VisitBritain and the Office for National Statistics found that 40 per cent of visitors to Scotland buy food or drink to take home with them, and VisitScotland’s “Scotland Visitor Survey” found almost half wanted to try local food while on holiday.