Help meet their needs while simultaneously increasing your farm revenue - with Agritourism
This online resource will teach you how.
The word “hospitality” means the generous and friendly reception of visitors or guests. It also includes the entertainment of the visitors. The word comes from the Latin word “hospitalitas” which is also the root for the word “hospital”. Hospitality, you might say, is hospital-like treatment because it gives rest to the weary and entertains the bored. Most importantly, it relieves the stress of those who are sick and tired of the pressures around them. It’s an escape.
If you are in an agritourism business, you’d better believe you are in the hospitality sector. Entertaining and being generous and friendly are among the services you must offer or you won’t be around long. Give them what they crave and your business will boom.
Here is a recap on some of the standard needs you will want to provide:
There’s nothing worse than visiting an establishment, asking for a restroom and being told you can go down the street or somewhere out in the back forty. Be courteous enough to provide nice, clean, convenient and well-stocked facilities for your guests. It is best if you can designate one for women and one for men as some travelers don’t like mixing. If that’s not possible and they need to be co-ed, just make sure they have lockable doors.
Be sure to clearly point the way to parking areas. Do your best to make the parking areas safe too which may entail installing a surveillance camera. If you facility is open past dark, be sure to have good lighting in the parking area. If you have to, you can charge a fee for parking but if you do, make sure you give your customers the best in parking conditions. And if your parking lot is remotely located, you might consider a tram, train or even a hay ride to the main area or front gate.
Signs are a form of courtesy. They let your visitors know what’s going on such as where the entrance, exit and parking is and the hours and days of your operation. Hang signs all around. State the rules, prices, where the restrooms are and whatever else your visitors need to know. Trust me, if you don’t, they will be asking you nonstop. Give them the friendly service of available information via signs in plain sight.
Do your best to answer questions before they are asked. “Where do we catch the hayride to the field?” If you have adequate information posted, the question will never have to be asked. “Where are the restrooms?” “Is my son old enough to ride the pony?” Think of all the questions that your visitors might have, and answer them in one fashion or another. Also, keep someone available to answer any additional questions that might arise.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Give speedy replies to inquiries whether in person, by phone or online.
- Put your terms, conditions and guidelines in writing and get the guest’s signature.
- Be upfront and honest about your services.
- Provide comfort...in sleeping quarters and elsewhere.
- Say “thank-you” and send notes of appreciation after their visit when possible.
- Provide clear instructions where they are needed.
- Provide sanitary and accessible facilities and drinking stations.
- Refund upon request.
- Be prepared for accidents and emergencies.
- Set age rules when appropriate.
- Make visitors feel important.
- Argue with a customer.
- Forget to confirm reservations.
- Make your guests wait in long lines if possible.
- Make false promises.
- Allow children to be disturbing (within reason).
- Add on extra unexpected costs.