Some of Wales’ most successful farm businesses are to share their knowledge at a series of events which aim to help others expand their enterprises.
Diversified farm owners will offer tips for setting up or expanding rural enterprises at three two-hour seminars later this month.
They will be joined by rural and marketing experts, together with specialist mentors, who provide businesses with fully funded one-to-one mentoring on diversification projects.
One of the guest speakers is mid-Wales farmer Llion Pughe, who is the co-founder of ‘Best of Wales’, a four and five star holiday letting agency.
The business started out from the family farm kitchen just outside Machynlleth in 2009.
Llion began letting out 33 properties, but he now lets out more than 400 after joining forces with a major online holiday lettings company.
Properties range from unique glamping units to city apartments and from traditional farmhouses to coastal cottages.
Llion said he believes the tourism industry could hold the key to increased profitability for many rural businesses in Wales.
More than 4.8 million visitors from the UK spent at least one night in Wales during the first six months of 2019, generating a total spend of £880 million, according to Welsh government statistics.
“I hope that these events will inspire those who attend and give them the confidence and vision to capitalise on the rich resources we have all around us in Wales,” Llion said.
“We live in a relatively small country, which means our visitors are never far from the wealth of amazing mountains, spectacular landscapes which stretch for miles, historic castles and a coastline which includes many seaside resorts as well as tiny unspoilt fishing coves.
“We need to identify the opportunities that we can offer walkers, cyclists, artists, riders, fishing and wildlife enthusiasts, birdwatchers, caravanners and campers, food and drink lover.
“The appeal is almost endless for both individuals and families, and we can turn these attractions into new streams of income,” he said.
Farming Connect’s three evening tourism seminars will be held between 19:30 and 21:30 on 24 February at M-Sparc, Gaerwen, Anglesey; 25 February at The Castle Hotel, Llandovery and 26 February at the Elephant & Castle, Newtown.
Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and funded by the Welsh government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.