Evidence that agritourism has become big business in North Carolina can be found in the number of agritourism farms in the state, vying for tourist dollars. And some ways to influence a few of those dollars to come your way might very well be waiting for you to learn about them at the seventh annual N.C. Agritourism Networking Association conference to be held, Feb. 21-22, at the Courtyard Marriott in Carolina Beach.
"With more than 600 agritourism farms across the state, there is a farm-related experience out there for everyone to try," says Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "This conference is a great way for those invested in rural tourism to network, share ideas and learn how to improve their farms."
Agritourism takes many forms, from corn mazes to country inns. Some agritourist businesses host simple vegetable and fruit stands and others elaborate farm-themed wedding chapels. Grape growers hold wine tastings and open houses. Others will put on peach or pumpkin-themed festivals with music and other entertainment. The possibilities are myriad.
On the first day of the conference, Feb. 21, attendees can participate in an optional farm tour, to sample some of these creative possibilities, first hand. The tour will be followed by a reception at Silver Coast Winery in Ocean Isle Beach.
Feb. 22 will be filled with a full day of workshops, focusing on how agritourism farms and local tourism entities can partner to stimulate regional economies.
Registration after Feb 5 is $100.
The N.C. Agritourism Networking Association consists of representatives from more than 250 agritourism farms across the state. Agritourism activities can range from pick-your-own produce and pumpkin patches to wedding venues and wineries. To find out more information about agritourism or to register for the conference, contact Martha Glass, NCDA&CS agritourism office manager, at 919-707-3120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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