In other parts of the world, Rural and Agri-tourism have remarkably increased into importance for many world’s economies – and Rwanda may also want to take a shot at it.
Agritourism, as a form of individual relaxation, satisfies the needs of various groups of the middle class.
At the end of March, Rwanda Development Board organised a two-day training on the development of agro-based tourism products with industry stakeholders in a bid to diversify the sector’s product offerings.
For Rwandans that may have vast land on which to conduct agriculture activities, can embrace this new cluster of agri-tourism and develop required products.
The products and services assigned to Real agri-tourism can comprise of five groups including; observation of agricultural production process, including plant production, animal production and some processing, including guided or individual farm (ranch) tours.
They also include; real participation in the process of plant production, animal production and processing (e.g. help in cow milking, hay making, etc.), animal demonstrations or shows, including cow milking, sheep shearing, angora rabbit shearing, stock selling, on-farm signed walking trails; direct contact with domestic animals or the nature of farms in different kinds of petting-zoo or safaris.
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Rural and agri-catering businesses (gastronomy)
Rural and agri-catering are an integral part of agri-tourism. Tourist staying temporarily or periodically in a farm have to buy at least some meals.
They can buy their meals in restaurants, make their own meals or buy catering services offered by agri- -tourism farms or other rural tourism enterprises.
There is a great variety of agri-catering services in agri-tourism and rural tourism, however there only three groups are distinguished within that cluster.
The variety is connected with source of food products, number and time of meals, places of serving meals.
Foods products may come partly from an agri-tourism farm own production or fully be purchased outside the farm.
Serving own food products farms can increase their income. One can divide meals in various ways and by three criteria; for example, by the time of serving meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, supper), by the place of served meals (in the dinning room or in the kitchen, outside home, in restaurants, etc.), or by feeding patterns (regional kitchen, national kitchen, every-day meals and holiday meals, etc.).
The idea of rural and agri-tourism lies in varieties that make the meals very special and different from the meals served by other agri-tourism farms. Each meal may be identified as an individual variant of an agri-tourism product. The unlimited possibility of meals’ differentiation causes the farms can be different from each other.
Rural and agri-accommodation services
Distinguishing of the rural and agri accommodation cluster is justified by its specific nature. All services and products of the cluster can be divided into six groups.
Rural and agri-accommodation services comprise various kinds of accommodation in rural areas. Homestead accommodation, including farm-stays, country-stays, rural home- -stays, and rural B&B seem to be the most common and the most tied with countryside and rurality.
These accommodation categories are quite specific for rural and agritourism, however the differences between them are very slight.
B&B in usual is an “umbrella term” for variety of hosted accommodation that includes a bed for the night and a breakfast in the morning. There are also some specific for agri-tourism forms of accommodation, e.g. sleeping on the hay, camping barns or bunkhouses.
With this literature on hand, Rwandan entrepreneurs may begin looking at farming as an opportunity for tourism and thus be able to convince financiers just in case they want hit the road.