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Chatham’s Visitors Bureau helps launch web promotion of agritourism

Posted Friday, August 30, 2013

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Pittsboro, NC - The Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) joined with other visitor promotion entities in the region to launch TriangleGrown, a user-friendly website showcasing the area’s visitor-friendly agricultural destinations, typically called agritourism.

Found at www.trianglegrown.com, the site makes it easier for people to find farms and food producers. The site includes Places to Go, Events, Itineraries and Resources and links to the CVB websites in the region for more information.

Attractions featured include:

  • restaurants, bakeries and breweries that embody the farm-to-fork principle
  • markets that specialize in locally-produced goods
  • nurseries and public gardens that allow visitors to get back to nature
  • food tours and trails that highlight the farm-to-fork (or grape-to-glass, or plow-to-pint) journey
  • events that celebrate and showcase producers
  • farms producing things like fruits and vegetables, as well as proteins, dairy and sundries that offer a more educational experience than just shopping at a local farmers’ market

Neha Shah, director of the CVB serving all of Chatham County, said, “TriangleGrown is a great product that reflects the positive outcome when you have collaboration of CVBs.”

Shah adds, “This is a win-win for all involved, especially local farms and businesses involved in agritourism. People can quickly find wineries, restaurants showcasing locally grown foods, pick-your-own produce farms, farmers’ markets and many other options.”

With its rich agriculture heritage and strong focus on locally grown foods, Chatham County is the perfect place to highlight agritourism, said County Manager Charlie Horne.

Horne added, “When many areas were seeing declines in farming, Chatham County did not. Instead, smaller farms focusing on specialty items, such as organic fruits and vegetables and niche products gave birth to the locally-grown movement.”

Norma Burns with Bluebird Hill Farms, which produces herbs, specialty vegetables, cut flowers, native plants, value-added farm crafts and food products, said that a website to spur more visitors to her farm is appreciated.

According to Burns, small farms must diversify their sources of income to survive. “Agritourism is one of the ways we can do that. Whenever we get to do garden tours for visitors, they are learning first-hand how challenging it is to produce foods and that is another huge benefit.”

According to the Durham CVB, the movement toward locally grown foods has “led to more people wanting to participate and learn more about how food is grown and produced.”

Promotion and marketing are among the top challenges farms face when starting or extending their agritourism programs, according to a report from NC State University’s Tourism Extension program.

This challenge motivated the CVBs in Chatham, Durham, Orange, Wake, Johnston to jointly create a website to extend the marketing reach of individual agritourism attractions.

Research also shows that many agritourism visitors also participate in other activities during their day visits, which sometimes leads to longer stays. “The new website reinforces our promotion of Chatham County’s far-ranging agritourism offerings,” Shah said.

TriangleGrown.com will be featuring an array of upcoming fall events, such as pick-your-own pumpkins, corn mazes, autumn beer festivals, and Halloween events on the farm.

 
Related info:
Triangle Grown
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Chatham’s Visitors Bureau helps launch web promotion of agritourism

Related info:
Triangle Grown
 
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