Business

Hilo to Host Hawai‘i’s First Global AgriTourism Symposium

September 23, 2016, 8:37 AM HST
* Updated September 26, 7:31 AM
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Lani Weigert, president of the Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association. Photo courtesy of HATA.

Lani Weigert, executive director of the Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association. Photo courtesy of HATA.

The Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on Oct. 15, 2016, at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo.

Industry experts (download speaker information below) from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage.

They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in agritourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk and protect rural communities.

The global symposium aims to help people get on-trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism, said Lani Weigert, executive director of the Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association.

The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health and education, Weigert said.

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For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail, according to HATA statistics.

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“The ripple effect continues with home-based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods and beauty or health products,” said Weigert.

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As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, agritourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

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AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches and innovative partnerships.

This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an agritourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits, said Weigert. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region.

“With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism,” said Weigert.

Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium online.

Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well.

Download PDFs of symposium speaker information:
hawaii-international-agritourism-symposium-speakers-1
hawaii-international-agritourism-symposium-speakers-2

For more information, contact Weigert at [email protected].

Space is limited; early registration encouraged.

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