“It doesn’t seem possible to go abroad. Farmers have the space, peace and quiet, so it is quite possible to stay at a distance,” says Susanne Görtz of LTO.
And those farms seem to be able to accommodate a lot of people. “In our country, more than 100,000 places to stay on more than 2,000 farms await the arrival of holidaymakers.”
Lots to do on the farm
John van der Salm of the Mariahoeve Logies holiday farm in Woubrugge is eager to receive people. “It is so beautiful in this area. For families with children, or for cyclists. Children often find it a shame if they have to go out with their parents, because they want to stay on the farm.”
There is plenty to do there, from go-karts to animal births. “People can also watch the milking, for example, or other things that are happening on a farm. Although some of them want to relax before the break.”
The company has four holiday homes that can accommodate a total of 25 people. “But our main task is to run a farm. We have chickens, sheep and cows. Dairy farming is our core business,” says John. “We were mainly for the foreign tourist, but we can now recapture the Dutch market.”
Mini camping or luxury holiday
There is something for everyone when it comes to a holiday with the farmer, Goof Lukken, tourism teacher at Breda University, also knows. “You have farms with a mini camping where forty to fifty people can come. There are also farmers with holiday homes or even a whole wellness for a luxury holiday,” says Lukken.
“Farmers must really enjoy the small scale, charm and tranquility. You can divide holidaymakers: people who go for large-scale entertainment, or people who come for nature and tranquility. They want a unique experience. Now with corona they can respond to that small-scale, massiveness can actually be a deterrent “, Lukken explains.
“About five million Dutch people planned to go abroad. There are potential customers among them, of course.”
According to Goof Lukken, a holiday with a farmer is something of the past ten years. “It was born out of the idea that farms should broaden. So they did that by selling local products, for example, or by tourism.”
This has developed in recent years. There are now even companies that do more recreation than real farming. “Consumers are increasingly looking for a unique experience. But recreation is quite different from running a farm, so if you don’t really like it, you won’t make it.”