Culinary And Agritourism Are Indiana's Calling Cards

Posted: Updated:

Coming off another fabulous Indiana State Fair and as we approach our annual Fall harvest, I am compelled to write about the culinary and agritourism profile of our state. In March of this year, together with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, we unveiled a culinary and agritourism strategy for Indiana: In my view, agriculture has always been the calling card of Indiana. Now culinary and agritourism are bolstering it further.

When we talk about culinary and agritourism, we’re talking about food-based and farm-based activities that bring authentic local flavor experiences and working landscape experiences to consumers. We believe that a true powerhouse for Indiana lies at the intersection of these two disciplines, which continue to grow, as does consumer spending.

To illustrate, travelers spent $3.2 billion in Indiana restaurants in 2015, part of a record spending year for travelers visiting Indiana destinations. Now, this is spending on food and beverage within the broader tourism industry, not solely agritourism and culinary tourism. But, it gives you some sense for the $11.5 billion tourism industry in Indiana. In addition, ISDA recently compiled a census of farms that engage in some form of agritourism and learned that we have more than 300 agritourism assets across our state.

Culinary and agritourism offer some of the greatest upside potential for both our broader tourism industry and for our friends who have a stake in the future of farming and healthy rural economies. The raw appeal of our existing agritourism product and our advancing reputation as a culinary destination, plus the strong overlap with outdoor recreation and heritage tourism make for a powerful combination.

There’s a certain reverence when it comes to farming in our state– it’s part of our Hoosier DNA. People want to see and experience life on the farm in an authentic, meaningful way. Given our rich agricultural heritage and the rise in demand for experiential travel, we at the Indiana Office of Tourism of Development, along with our partners at ISDA, recognize the tremendous growth potential here and believe our state is uniquely positioned to deliver those experiences. Plus, growers and producers want it, so do farm direct sellers and marketers, as well as those who have a particular interest in seeing rural Indiana flourish.

That’s why we developed the statewide culinary and agritourism strategy. We want to support product development activities undertaken by individual agritourism operators and regions throughout the state, which fulfills our mission of economic impact by helping these businesses form, grow and thrive. We also want to deliver resources, education and marketing to help producers reach a broader audience and tell their story in a new and exciting way. All of this, when fully implemented, will lead to a stronger, healthier rural economy. 

To succeed, we need to draw more people into these industries and bolster the ones that are already there. We want to own our agricultural roots. We want to take the farm-to-table lifestyle that we’ve been living for generations and use it with more intention to drive visitors to our destinations. It’s our vision to make Indiana the center for culinary and agritourism best practices and a destination for unmatched food and farm-based experiences. We now have the blueprint to make that happen.

Mark Newman is executive director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.

  • Perspectives

    • Is Your Enterprise Ready For Digital Transformation?

      We are living in a historic era with accelerating market and technology disruptions that impact our lives and rapidly change how we do business. Cloud computing, advanced analytics, and digital technologies have the potential to transform how every company interacts with its customer. So, how do businesses keep up and (better yet) stay ahead? Enter the digital CIO. A new breed of CIO is emerging to lead companies through technology changes happening at record pace.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Big Military Diesel Engine Contract Goes to Cummins

      Columbus-based Cummins Inc. has secured a more than quarter-billion dollar U.S. Department of Defense contract. The deal involves new and remanufactured engines for the U.S. Army. The DOD says locations of where the work will be performed will be determined with each order. The contract is for procurement of new commercial, remanufactured and remanufactured conversion V903 Cummins series 600 and 675 horsepower diesel engines. Cummins bills itself as...

    • IDOE Names 'Four Star Schools'

      The Indiana Department of Education has released its list of Four Star Schools for the 2016-2017 academic year. The designation, which has been awarded for the past 30 years, aims to recognize great schools throughout the state. 

    • 'Best Places' in Indiana Reaches Record

      The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has released the 2018 list of Best Places to Work in Indiana. A record 125 companies are being honored this year and more than 50 are first-timers or returning after a year or more off the list. Employers in over two dozen communities are represented and the chamber will unveil the rankings of the Best Places honorees during a May 3 awards dinner at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

    • F&W Moving Engine Line From Mexico to Noble County

      Kendallville-based Flint & Walling Inc. is planning to on-shore some operations to Indiana. The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne reports the manufacturer is shifting an engine production line from Mexico to Kendallville's former Superior Essex facility that it acquired a year ago. The publication says F&W is investing more than $5 million into renovations and equipment for small sump pump engines that will be used by its parent company, Louisville-based Zoeller Co.

    • Cummins to Design Combat Engines That Elude the Enemy

      The monstrous, larger-than-life military tanks of tomorrow could be powered by Hoosier ingenuity. A recent $47 million defense contract delivers marching orders for Columbus-based Cummins Inc.: develop the next-generation engine to power U.S. combat vehicles, and it must be stronger, but smaller, and elusive to enemies’ efforts to spot it.