The British tourist industry relies heavily on the attraction of the countryside as a major source of revenue. It is important in terms of attracting British tourists who might otherwise consider going abroad on their holidays. In the midst of an economic recession, going on holiday at home is a far more attractive proposition to British tourists who are no longer able to afford the luxury of going abroad. Because of this difficult economic climate rural communities and farmers have been in a position to benefit from increased numbers of people choosing the countryside as their holiday destination.
Farmers can take advantage of this growing trend of domestic tourism in different ways. Many farm owners across the country have converted old barns into plush rural cottages, which they can run as hotels open to the public. Converting buildings into accommodation is something that allows tourists to experience traditional rural living in a comfortable hotel environment. Barn conversions and similar projects are beneficial for farmers because of the income they can receive from hosting guests or renting out farmland cottages. Farmers are owners of some of the most striking and beautiful scenery in the country, so allowing people to stay in the heart of the countryside is an idea that could prove profitable for many.
One potential use of agricultural farmland is the building or growing of mazes that are open to the public. A maze can be grown using different crops or trees such as maize, and it is an attraction that does not directly harm the environment whilst being an efficient use of farmland. It is an idea that could be advantageous for farmers because the revenue a maze can produce through its visitors. In a difficult economic climate, in which small farms often suffer, it is a good way to use land that may not be particularly profitable in terms of growing and selling crops.
Farmers can take advantage of the growing popularity of organic food amongst the general public by allowing people on to their land to pick their own fruit fresh from where it is grown. This kind of access would be popular because generally people are becoming more concerned with where their food comes from and how it is produced. Opening land up to so people can pick their own produce helps build a relationship with their local farms and is also a good source of direct revenue for farmers.
Opening petting farms and encouraging schools to conduct visits to farms are good ways of attracting tourists to land used to produce livestock. Petting farms are popular with young children, whilst encouraging schools to take educational visits to a farm can help forge strong relations with the local community. Involving schools in the life of a farm can keep the local community aware of the important role that domestic farms still play in modern society.