A Comprehensive Guide to Rise of Agro Tourism Sector in India


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India is an incredible piece of land for foodies and travelers. Diverse in culture, landscape, and ethnicities, it has been a hotspot for tourists from all across the globe. From spiritual destinations to the most scenic terrain and shiny beaches, India has it all. As per the records,  India catered to around 10.93 million foreign tourists in 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the number down to 6.19 million in 2022. The rise is expected within the next couple of years. Thus, all governments are implementing new strategies to attract the largest number of domestic and foreign tourists. One such strategy is Agro Tourism.

What is Agro Tourism?

Agro tourism, or agritourism, involves visiting farms, agricultural areas, and rural landscapes. It is an immersive experience of farmland and participating in farming activities and rural life. It is a form of niche tourism that allows tourists to learn about agricultural practices, food production processes, and the rural way of life while enjoying recreational activities in the countryside. Agritourism destinations may include working farms, vineyards, orchards, ranches, and other agricultural settings.

Objectives of Agro Tourism

The primary objective of the agro-tourism sector is to provide tourists with an educational and entertaining experience. Furthermore, supports local farmers and rural communities by generating additional income and promoting sustainable agriculture and cultural exchange. Visitors to agritourism sites can often engage in activities such as picking fruits, vegetables, or grapes. In addition, they can participate in farm chores, take farm tours, and enjoy farm-fresh food and products. They can even learn about traditional agricultural methods.

Agritourism has become increasingly popular worldwide as people seek to reconnect with nature, understand where their food comes from, and experience the slower pace of rural life. Additionally, it allows farmers to diversify their income streams and promote their products directly to consumers.

Why is Agro Tourism popular in India?

Agro tourism’s popularity in India can be attributed to its rich rural heritage, diverse agricultural practices, and authentic cultural experiences. With over 60% of the population dependent on agriculture, India naturally becomes an appealing destination for agriculture tourism. Moreover, visitors are drawn to immersing themselves in traditional rural life, witnessing various farming techniques, and engaging in farm-to-table experiences like harvesting crops and milking cows. However, agro tourism promotes education about agriculture and sustainable practices and offers a peaceful escape from urban life. In addition, the sector contributes to the economic development of rural communities and aligns with the growing interest in sustainable and responsible tourism. Thus, supported by the Indian government, it continues to gain popularity as it showcases the country’s agricultural diversity and cultural richness, making it a captivating destination for both domestic and international tourists.

A report published by IMARC says India’s agriculture and tourism could have a growth rate of 19.9% (CAGR) between 2023-2028. To understand the predicted growth, let’s try to understand how agro tourism operates in India.

Types of Agro Tourism in India


Each type of agro tourism in India offers a distinctive experience, allowing visitors to connect with nature, understand local culture, and gain insights into the country’s agricultural heritage. Moreover, these diverse options make India an attractive destination for tourists seeking authentic and enriching rural experiences.

  • Culinary tourism: This type of tourism centers around food experiences and culinary traditions. Tourists can indulge in farm-fresh meals, cooking workshops, and local produce and regional dishes tastings.
  • Wine and vineyard tourism: India has a growing wine industry, particularly in regions like Nashik in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Wine and vineyard tourism allows visitors to explore vineyards, learn about winemaking processes, and sample different wines.
  • Tea estate tourism: India is renowned for its tea production, and tea estate tourism allows tourists to visit tea plantations in places like Darjeeling and Assam. They can witness tea plucking and processing and learn about the tea culture.
  • Spice plantation tourism: In Kerala and other southern states, spice plantation tours offer visitors the chance to explore aromatic spice gardens, learn about various spices, and understand their culinary and medicinal uses.
  • Fruit orchard tourism: Certain regions in India, like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, offer fruit orchard tours where tourists can pick fruits, enjoy scenic landscapes, and experience rural agricultural life.
  • Ayurveda and wellness tourism: This form of agro tourism focuses on traditional Ayurvedic practices and wellness therapies. Moreover, tourists can engage in rejuvenating treatments and yoga retreats, as well as learn about Ayurvedic medicinal plants.
  • Sustainable and eco-tourism: Some agro tourism initiatives focus on promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Tourists can participate in eco-friendly farm activities, learn about conservation efforts, and support responsible tourism.
  • Rural craft and art tourism: This type of agro tourism involves visiting rural artisans and craftsmen to learn about traditional crafts like pottery, weaving, and handloom work and purchase unique handmade products.
  • Adventure tourism: Adventure tourism offers tourists the opportunity to engage in various outdoor activities amidst rural landscapes. These activities often involve exploring nature and agricultural areas in an adventurous and active manner.

Benefits of the Industry

Agro tourism in India promotes a symbiotic relationship between agriculture, tourism, and local communities. It fosters sustainable development, cultural understanding, and economic success while safeguarding the country’s natural and cultural heritage.

  • Economic Boost: Agro tourism generates additional income for farmers and rural communities, helping to diversify their revenue sources. It also creates employment opportunities through various services like farm stays, guided tours, and local crafts, contributing to the growth of the local economy.
  • Agricultural and Environmental Sustainability: Agro tourism encourages sustainable agricultural practices as farmers often showcase eco-friendly methods to tourists. This fosters awareness about responsible farming. Moreover, it emphasizes the conservation of natural resources and the importance of biodiversity preservation.
  • Cultural Exchange and Social Integration: Agriculture tourism facilitates cultural exchange between tourists and local communities. Thus, visitors gain insights into rural traditions, festivals, and customs, promoting mutual understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures. This social interaction helps bridge the gap between urban and rural populations.
  • Preservation of Rural Heritage: Agro-tourism plays a role in preserving traditional knowledge, crafts, and skills that might otherwise be at risk of fading away. By valuing and showcasing rural heritage, it helps maintain cultural identity and heritage for future generations.
  • Health and Well-being: Agro tourism promotes physical and mental well-being through outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and farm-related tasks. It provides a refreshing escape from urban life, offering tourists a chance to connect with nature and experience a healthier lifestyle.
  • Conservation of Agricultural Land: Farmers may be incentivized to maintain their agricultural lands instead of converting them into non-agricultural uses by promoting agro-tourism. This helps protect valuable agricultural resources and prevent further urban sprawl.

Top Agro Tourism States to Visit in India


India offers many captivating agro tourism destinations, each boasting unique agricultural landscapes, cultural experiences, and adventure opportunities. Here are some of the most popular states to explore:

  • Maharashtra: Maharashtra’s rich agricultural heritage makes it an ideal destination for agro tourism. Farm stays offer a glimpse into rural life, while heritage tours unveil the state’s cultural gems. Adventurous travelers can explore Maharashtra’s diverse Sahayadri mountain range and the scenic landscapes of Konkan.
  • Kerala: Kerala always surprises every tourist on their trip in its verdant hills and tranquil backwaters. In addition, tourists can enjoy farm stays amidst lush plantations, participate in heritage tours to learn about the state’s rich cultural traditions, and engage in adventure activities like hiking and river rafting.
  • Himachal Pradesh: Nestled in the northern region of India, Himachal Pradesh captivates with its majestic mountains, forests, and valleys. Moreover, agro tourism here includes farm stays that allow visitors to immerse themselves in rural life. Additionally, there are treks through scenic landscapes and camping in the lap of nature.
  • Uttarakhand: With its holy mountains, sacred rivers, and dense forests, Uttarakhand has a magical experience for every tourist. Visitors can indulge in farm stays, hike through breathtaking trails, and enjoy thrilling rafting adventures.
  • Tamil Nadu: Diverse agricultural practices and lush landscapes make Tamil Nadu an excellent destination for agro-tourism. Tourists can explore tea and coffee plantations in the Nilgiris. Moreover, visit spice gardens in Kerala and discover traditional agricultural practices in rural areas.
  • Assam: The tea gardens of Assam allow visitors to learn about tea cultivation and processing. Additionally, tourists can explore the rural life of the state’s tribal communities and indulge in traditional Assamese cuisine.
  • Karnataka: The state’s diverse landscapes contain every possible attraction, from beaches, and jungles to widely spread farm lands. Karnataka offers attractions such as visits to coffee and spice plantations in Coorg and exploring rural charm in the Malnad region.

Factors Driving India’s Agriculture Tourism


Key factors are propelling the agro tourism market’s growth in India:

  • Increasing Demand for Sustainable Tourism: Tourists are showing interest in sustainable tourism, recognizing its significance in preserving the environment and supporting local communities. Thus, agro-tourism, focusing on sustainable farming practices and rural experiences, aligns well with this trend.
  • Surging Popularity of Farm Stays: Farm stays have gained significant popularity among tourists, as they offer a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in rural life and engage in agricultural activities. These authentic experiences attract travelers seeking meaningful connections with nature and local culture.
  • Government Initiatives Promoting Rural Tourism: The Indian government’s proactive efforts to promote rural tourism foster the agro-tourism market’s growth. By incentivizing and supporting rural initiatives, the government aims to uplift the rural economy and preserve traditional heritage.

Final Thoughts

Agro tourism in India offers a diverse and enriching rural experience to visitors. With its vast agricultural landscapes and rich cultural heritage, tourists can engage in farm stays, learn about sustainable practices, and bridge the gap between urban and rural communities. States like Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan provide opportunities for adventure tourism, while Punjab showcases the impact of the Green Revolution. From tea gardens in Assam to spice plantations in Karnataka, each region offers unique experiences. This sustainable and educational form of tourism benefits local economies, promotes environmental conservation, and fosters cultural understanding in India’s countryside.

Keep Reading! Keep Growing!


  1. Who is the Founder of Agro Tourism?

Ans: The founder of agro-tourism is considered to be Klaus Obermeyer, an American who first coined the term “agro-tourism” in 1983. Additionally, he is known for his pioneering work in fruiting trees and the development of the “Tobacco Control Act” in the United States.

  1. Who is the Founder of Agri-tourism in India?

Ans: The founder of agri-tourism is Pandurang Taware, known as the “Father of Agri Tourism” in India. He has been a prominent figure in promoting agri-tourism and has received various awards and recognition for his work in this field. For instance, in 2010, he received the National Tourism Award from the Vice President of India.

Taware is the founder, managing director, and chief promoter of the Maharashtra State Agri & Rural Tourism Co-operative Federation Ltd. He is also working to create an international body to promote Agri-tourism.

  1. Which country is famous for agro tourism?

Ans: The concept of agro-tourism has gained considerable attention in recent years. The countries like India, Australia, Malaysia, the USA, etc. are popular destinations for agro-tourism. However, rising infrastructure and government policies are building the ladder for India to develop agro tourism at its best.

  1. What is the full form of Agro?

Ans: Agro is a shortened form of agronomy or agriculture. In English, “agro-” is a combining form that refers to fields, soil, or agriculture.

Parag Ahire

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