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Three approaches for setting pricing on agritourism experiences

Agritourism operators have many factors to consider when setting pricing for experiences. It can seem overwhelming for new operators. But one way to help structure your thinking about pricing is to consider it along the lines of three approaches:

  1. Hourly rate. Think of this like a consulting rate. How much is your time worth? This approach can be especially helpful when there are limited or no additional material costs.
  2. Value to the customer. How much do visitors enjoy or benefit from the experience, and therefore how much are they willing to pay? This may be much higher or lower than others in the market, as it is focused specifically on judging how much your specific experience is worth to your specific customers. How do you know what this value is? One way is to ask your customers or potential customers. Another is to get into the mindset of your target demographics and see what they pay for other services that offer similar experiences, even from entirely different fields (for example, museums that offer children education, or dinner and a movie that might be an alternate date experience for a couple).
  3. Market value. This approach first considers what peers or competitors are charging for similar experiences, and targeting this range. Most agritourism experts agree that operators should be aware of general market rates but not overly driven by them. Educational agritourism experiences vary widely and therefore pricing conniver be truly equivalents. And as a tourism activity driven primarily by leisure and interest, visitors tend to be relatively less price-sensitive than in other sectors. Therefore, aiming to price experiences at or below competitors can make operations unsustainable.

Once you have a general idea in mind based on the three approaches above, it’s time to get the calculator out to see if the general pricing makes sense after considering all the costs. Consider staffing, cost of materials (products, containers, tools, tables if new purchase, coverings, food/drink), time to set up, creative collaboration costs/fees, location rentals, advertising, and ticketing. After you’ve accounted for all costs, you should still have a reasonable profit margin. Ultimately the exact margin needs to balance favorably against any other non-monetary benefits (e.g., feeling good about teaching) or costs (e.g., exhaustion from the work required).