Mclean County Agritourism
Agriculture plays a distinctive role in McLean County. The Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is proud to include Agritourism in our marketing efforts. Agricultural tourism is a commercial enterprise at a working farm, ranch or agricultural plant conducted for the enjoyment or education of visitors that also generates supplemental income for the owner. Agritourism can include farm stands or shops, U-pick, farm stays, tours, on farm classes, fairs, festivals, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, wineries, hunting, fishing, and more. McLean County is rich with agritourism.
The scope of agritourism varies. Direct market agritourism, education and experience agritourism and recreation and event agritourism seem to be the most popular forms. We are lucky enough to feature all three forms in McLean County. Our Farmers Markets in Downtown Bloomington and Uptown Normal are good examples of direct market. These farmers offer products that are appealing to the consumer as they are coming directly from local farms. Epiphany Farms illustrates education and experience agritourism. They give tours along with hands on education of farm life and then provide the advantage of dining on their own farm products in their local restaurants. Another good representation is White Oak Vineyards where they educate visitors on the process of making wine and then let visitors enjoy tasting their wines at the vineyard tasting room. Recreation and event agritourism include farms like Rader Family Farms where the involvement of using their farm land for festivals, corn mazes, children activities and hay rides draw in visitors. The attraction of visitors to the farm increases the likelihood of purchasing their products.
Customer loyalty and repeat business is key to the success of many agritourism businesses. Agritourism often attracts city dwellers and senior citizens who may feel nostalgic about local farm life. Just like an art museum or historic landmark, agritourism tends to offer visitors an educational experience. However, instead of providing insight into art or history, the educational material deals with farming methods and rural farming culture. Additionally, just as sightseers seek out natural wonders and beauty, so do agritourists seek out a chance to discover where some of their favorite foods come from.
As more families move away from long vacations toward shorter weekend trips or staycations, McLean County agritourism destinations often offer a good value and unique experience. According to a recent survey by the Travel Industry Association of America, outdoor activities ranked third for American vacation destinations, just behind shopping and family events.
There is still time this fall to be an agritourist in McLean County! For more information on agritourism events contact us at email@example.com.