Agritourism Can Drive Socio-Economic Development In Caribbean
(Chefs for Development) With the global market size of agritourism expected to reach $10.16 billion by 2024 (Verified Market Reports) and with an estimated Caribbean market for agribusiness products of $4 billion per year, there is a major opportunity for the region to enhance its tourism product and improve food security, connecting visitors and locals to the people, places and processes involved in the production side of food and drink.
Regionally, operations such as Goodfellow Farms in the Bahamas, PEG farms and Coco Hill Forest in Barbados and Ridge 2 Reef Farm in St. Croix are offering farm tours, farmers markets, farm stays, farm retreats and even opportunities to take part in farm life. As an outcome of their study to map agritourism policies in the Caribbean, the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation and the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture are currently supporting agritourism development in 6 countries, including Grenada, Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Suriname and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
According to the Culinary Tourism Alliance, these initiatives are particularly important to socio-economic development because they “allow farmers to diversify their income through tourism-related activities that often leverage un- or underutilized lands and buildings, connecting people to the source of their food through experiences that are meaningful, which can help to bridge urban-rural divides while cultivating pride in agricultural landscapes and livelihoods.”
In this interview, Trevor Jonas Benson, Director of Food Tourism Innovation at the Culinary Tourism Alliance, discusses the opportunities for agritourism in the Caribbean. Benson is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s social enterprise consultancy, Grow Food Tourism and as a Barbadian, he is particularly passionate about the region.
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