Scottish Agritourism Conference 2023 announced

Speakers at Scottish Agritourism Conference
Alan Robertson

Tickets for the Scottish Agritourism Conference are released for general sale today.  

Applications are also open for twenty scholarship places, which Scottish Rural Network (SRN) are funding as part of our remit to encourage innovation in agriculture and to support the delivery of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP).

The scholarships will allow the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs in Scotland’s farm retail and agritourism sector to attend the conference and evening dinner free of charge, plus benefit from participation in an additional two-day workshop focusing on personal and sector development.

Taking place on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd November 2023, at Perth Concert Hall, the conference is now in its fourth year and is expected to attract four hundred individuals from across Scotland, to hear from an impressive line-up of inspirational agritourism speakers and sector experts and engage with breakout sessions, alongside networking and knowledge exchange opportunities.

The SRN scholarship, open to those under the age of 35, will support delegates coming from each area of Scotland, including island communities, covering travel and the conference and dinner ticket. The total funding received from SRN for the conference will also support a two-day development programme for under 35’s delegates and Scottish Agritourism Destination Leaders to be held in early November.

Representatives from the under-35s group will also have the opportunity to share their views on the future of agritourism in Scotland in a main stage session at the one-and-a-half-day conference. SRN funding received in 2022 supported five delegates under the age of 35 to attend Scotland’s agritourism conference.

Conference speakers include Tim Parsons, one of Australia’s most successful farm tour business owners, attracting thousands of international visitors to his farm each year. In keeping with a focus on the future, session topics include agritourism delivering a net zero tourism experience, international visitor markets, planning and agritourism development, build an agritourism business with succession and exit in mind and agritourism for crofters and tenants.

Delegates will be updated on Scotland’s Agritourism Strategy progress to date, Scottish sector performance and Scottish Government investment via Scotland’s Agritourism Monitor Farm Programme. The next four agritourism monitor farming businesses will also be announced at the conference.

Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, said:

“Scotland’s agritourism sector is a dynamic and exciting area that continues to go from strength to strength. Its contribution to our rural economy is significant and it offers an extensive variety of opportunities for participating businesses. This includes attracting new customers, educating consumers on local food products and providing new revenue streams for family farms.

“This conference is a great source of information and support for those seeking to learn more about the industry and I’d encourage those who are interested to get involved.”

Caroline Millar, Sector Lead for Scottish Agritourism said:

“We are looking forward to welcoming Scotland’s thriving agritourism sector to Perth Concert Hall for this year’s Scottish Agritourism Conference. It is a great opportunity for business owners, farmers and crofters considering agritourism and the extensive network of professionals, suppliers, academics and economic development personnel to come together and to take stock of where the sector is at and where it is heading. We are grateful to our sponsors and supporters including Scottish Rural Network for the under 35’s scholarship programme and to our platinum sponsor, NFU Mutual.”

The application form for the under 35’s scholarship programme can be found at this link.

Get tickets for the Scottish Agritourism Conference.

Find out more about the Scottish Agritourism Conference, Programme, Speakers, Sponsor & Exhibitors.