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  • Responsible travel: a guide to agro-tourism

    photo by warrenski on Flickr

    Agro-tourism, also called agritourism, is one of the newest trends in the world of travel. Green travel allows you to help preserve the environment as much as possible without giving up on actually traveling, but agro-tourism does more than that: it involves in you activities that make tourism more sustainable.

    Agro-tourism, to put it simply, implies spending time on a farm, working or just enjoying country life, picking fruit or feeding animals, and even doing harder jobs that allow you to pay for your holiday. In all cases, agro-tourism is an active sort of tourism that lands you with some useful experience, and often makes it possible for you to travel practically for free. Here’s one of the best way to indulge in responsible travel: a guide to agro-tourism.

    Why choose agro-tourism

    photo by Andrew Smith

    As opposed to being the stereotypical tourist who passes through hundreds of cities without really connecting with either the locals or the local culture, agro-tourism means more than just going somewhere, sightseeing and taking pictures.

    Agro-tourism destinations are generally located in the countryside, so this sort of holiday is a great opportunity to experience an idyllic rural setting, and to get involved into the comings and goings of life on a farm (caring for animals, harvesting, picking fruit, etc).

    If working on a farm does not sound like a good holiday activity to you, then you can just stick to birdwatching, hiking, visiting the surrounding landmarks and maybe even taking some courses.

    Costs

    Depending on your own definition of agro-tourism, the costs of the trip can vary widely. If you are a backpacker/independent traveler who would like to see some nice places and earn their keep anbd maybe some change, then you can work on a farm as a temporary laborer.

    There are lots of programmes that can arrange your stay at a farm, or you can search some farms on your own in a country or region that you’d like to visit. If you prefer a fancier style of travel (and this will obviously cost you), you can stay at a nice farm B&B, enjoy the fresh produce, help out the local economy and take some interesting courses like winemaking, winetasting, cooking or traditional crafts.

    Agro-tourism destinations

    photo by Nigel Chagwick

    One of the most popular agro-tourism destinations nowadays is Malaysia, and since this is a growing trend in the country there are lots of facilities for tourists, and many farms and agricultural parks that offer various activities for travelers.

    The Caribbean countries are also a great destination if you want a sunny and warm destination, and outdoor enthusiasts will definitely love the coffee farms, sugar plantations and various small festivals.

    Dordogne and the Loire Valley in France have no competition when it comes to showing to visitors how stylish country life can be, while Cyprus and Greece offer farm stays with a Mediterranean flair.

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