"Agroxenia", the non-profit company promoting agrotourism in Greece, created a list of criteria to assess agrotourism enterprises, based on international experience and practice with reference to the Greek reality.
"Agroxenia" elaborated a list of criteria - given the lack of institutional framework in Greece - on behalf of the Hellenic Agotourism Federation, SEAGE. This list of criteria was presented during the agrotourism meeting, which took place in Paranesti - Drama (East Macedonia) on 23.11.2010.
This is a form of Tourism Development, which aims at offering visitors an experiential acquaintance with the countryside; rural activities; cultural figures and original features of the sites; local products; traditional cuisine and daily life of rural dwellers.
Agritourism supports the development of sustainable interventions and small-scale infrastructure projects.
Agritourism enterprises are businesses which develop small-scale infrastructure projects with targeted interventions in the environment. They also provide accommodation services; catering and leisure activities ,in order to offer the visitors a deeper knowledge of the daily life in the countryside (including animals/plants, traditional cuisine etc.) plus cultural elements and typical local producuts;.
The Agritourism Development company is a diversified tourism company that offers these specialized services:
- Leisure activities;
- Exploration of nature;
- Environmental awareness and education;
- Introduction to the culture of the region, visits to historical sites and other attractions, participation in outdoor recreational activities;
- Acquaintance with traditional professions, agricultural production and farming methods and processes which have nowadays disappeared;
- Promotion of particular local agricultural products.
Agritourism enterprises should have the following functional forms in order to fulfil the criteria:
- Agritourism Hostelling;
- Agritourist restaurants;
- Agritourism leisure centres for promotion of local cultural heritage;
- Showrooms for agro products;
- Travel agencies, providers or organizers of outdoor programmes and activities for ecotourism.
Agritourism quality label
The classification of a tourism company in agritourism business involves the acquisition of a quality label.
The administration of the quality label, given to Agro enterprises, requires evaluation by independent Agroxenia evaluators (2 Board Members and a Technician (Architect, etc.), which carry out the evaluation and award the quality label. Agroxenia may delegate the assessment of the Agritourism label to other certification bodies.
After the evaluation, the companies which are not qualified to meet the Agritourism criteria (score below 40% ), can conform in accordance with the written instructions of the evaluators, until full compliance with the criteria is reached, thus obtaining the quality label.