The underside of agrotourism
Visit to a cheese factory, tasting at the farm; surprisingly, all these activities and more are part of the large family of agrotouristic attractions. For more than 45 years, the agrotourism industry has been expanding in Quebec. More concretely, in 2016, 789 companies were defined as agrotouristic sites. In 2015, 10.6 million visitors hit the roads of Québec to do this type of touristic attraction. Impressive, isn’t it?
In addition to creating a privileged contact between consumers and producers, agrotourism also encourages the economic, social and professional sector of the 17 administrative regions of Quebec. For more than 40 years, this visibility that companies have gained facilitates the marketing of products sold by farmers, informs the public about this industry while valuing the profession and offers diversified tourism experiences.
To clarify the term "agrotourism", the Groupe de concertation en agrotourisme et en tourisme gourmand has established a definition: "Agrotourism is a tourist activity complementary to agriculture. It connects producers and tourists or excursionists, thus allowing visitors to discover the agricultural environment, agriculture and its production through the information that their host reserves. "
Nevertheless, it is not anyone who can claim to be an agrotouristic attraction. Of course, the latter must fulfill several requirements like:
- take place on a farm;
- be complementary to agriculture;
- establish a relationship between the tourist and the producer;
- be a information activity, including or not, the consumption of products from the farm;
- highlight the agricultural territory and its activities.
The UPA’s role?
Two years after the creation of the first farming activities in 1972, the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) created the Fédération des Agricotours. The objective was to bring together producers in order to establish a sufficiently solid basis for the development of this sector of activity. With the extension of these lodging activities to agrotouristic and gourmet tourism activities, the Fédération des Agricotours is moving towards a new entity, the Association de l’agrotourisme et du tourisme gourmand, which brings together all the certification brands under the banner Terroir et saveurs du Québec. Today, UPA participates as a member of the l’Association de l’agrotourisme et du tourisme gourmand and coordinates a network of agri-tourism respondents through its 12 regional federations.
A web series that will trigger your curiosity
To provide consumers with a view of Quebec farms throughout the year, the UPA has developed a series of capsules that present every month a company's profile. The videos last approximately 5 minutes and show us a behind-the-scene of farmers from all over the province. To see all the capsules or simply to know more about this campaign initiated by the UPA, go to www.vosagriculteurs.tv.
Here’s the last one episode of this captivating web series!