Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tourism Enterprise Opportunities - Introduction

Index Page - Introduction - Getting Started - Section 2 - Section 3 - Section 4 - Section 5 - Appendixes


Can a Tourism/Recreation Enterprise Help Achieve Your Goals?

An Enterprise Assessment Resource

This resource guide aims to address the most important questions and issues to consider in evaluating a potential tourism/recreation enterprise. Because we know that your time is valuable, we have strived to be concise but acknowledge that such a handbook cannot provide all the answers on these topics. Consequently, we have included an “additional resources” section at the end for additional information.

This guide is designed to lead you through a step-by-step process so you will have a
clear idea about:

- Whether an agritourism, nature/eco tourism or recreation business will work for
you, your family and your ranch/farm operation.
- If the answer is “yes,” you will have a specific idea about what that business will be.
- Whether or not a particular business will be economically feasible.
- How to enter that business based on sound research and planning.

Agricultural tourism/recreation is significantly different from traditional ranching/farming
activities. It will be necessary for you to put on a “new pair of glasses” when considering these opportunities. However, tourism can be very compatible with a rural agricultural lifestyle, while providing significant benefits economically and in other ways.

In addition, this handbook is...

For landowners who have an interest in tourism/recreation enterprises that take advantage of the natural and heritage resources of the land.

A guide to information sources about issues not fully covered in this handbook.

Focused on tourism enterprises, but the framework for decision making can be applied to other alternative enterprises to traditional agriculture operations.

Designed so landowners who complete the steps in this handbook will have the beginning of a business plan describing their enterprise and an estimate of its revenue potential.

Tourism Enterprises Defined
For the purpose of this handbook, tourism (or recreational) enterprises are those that use the natural and heritage resources of the land by inviting customers to visit the ranch/farm to “experience” the unique natural, cultural and historic resources of the site. To the rancher/farmer, the aim is to create a sustainable income stream or augment existing revenues.

This handbook is designed to be a 5-week assessment process, requiring about 2 or 3 hours of activities per week. Each weekly topic includes a section of the handbook, exercise and worksheet(s) to build on those topics. Some weeks require more time than others. You may invest more time for additional benefit. The book provides space for you to compile your ideas for your own situation. Each chapter includes an exercise worksheet for your potential operation. At the end of the process, you will likely produce a business plan framework, e.g., topics addressed in the worksheets can be inserted into an outline to become the beginning of your business plan, including a five-year projection of revenues and costs.

Index Page - Introduction - Getting Started - Section 2 - Section 3 - Section 4 - Section 5 - Appendixes

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