Many People are Discovering Agritourism for the First Time
During a recent interview with Bloomberg, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky validated the shift in travel that has been brought on by COVID-19. “The genie is out of the bottle,” Chesky says. “People are now discovering small towns and small communities. They’re discovering national parks, falling in love with the outdoors, and realizing they can go to all sorts of other places. This is an irreversible trend.”
A Fundamental Shift from Inside to Outside
One of those other places that Chesky is referring to is farm destinations located away from busy city centers. Agritourism and farm tourism is positioned for strong growth. Farm owners have an opportunity to take advantage of this increased consumer attention with messages that appeal to former city goers. This is a fundamental shift from inside to outside. Farm destinations, farm parks, orchards, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms and other rural attractions can seize on this opportunity to grow attendance. Destination farms should work hard to create marketing plans that can increase their online visibility. In today’s mobile world it’s critical that farms offer a mobile friendly website along with accurate and attractive listings across various platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Trip Advisor. Farm Fest, an online directory of farm destinations offers a free listing directory for pumpkin patches, corn mazes, orchards, and other types of farm destinations.
City Travel will Take Years to Recover
While Chesky doesn’t quite predict the death of city tourism and travel, he does describe what’s ahead: “Definitely, this is not the death of cities,” Chesky asserts. But the short term does involve a steep climb.“Here’s what’s going to happen: People will migrate away for the coming years, and then prices will go down. Then, a new generation will discover cities as more livable and more affordable, and it will probably lead to a renaissance.” How long will that take? Chesky says three to five years—or more. “The bigger the city, the longer I think it will take to recover.”