Over the past few years, agritourism has become an important offshoot of the tourism sector, showing potential business in its own space. Aiming to explore and discover rural life, culture, art and heritage in the countryside, agritourism works to socially and economically support local communities. To take advantage of this current trend, New Communities Land Trust, an organization founded in 1969 to provide shelter for black farmers, recently launched the Southwest Georgia Agritourism Trail. The project consists of a collection of stays and experiences on Airbnb throughout the southwest Georgia.
The Southwest Georgia Agritourism Trail, led by co-founder and USDA Commissioner for Equity Shirley Sherrod, will support participating farmers access local tourism economic opportunities through accommodation while raising community awareness of the history and contemporary needs of black farming communities. .
The New Communities Land Trust, a public land trust in the United States of more than 6,000 acres of farmland owned and managed by black farmers, works to create generational wealth by supporting and educating its members in sustainable farming and agribusiness practices. The organization is headquartered in Resora, a former plantation near Albany that originally belonged to one of the largest slave estates in Georgia and now represents and promotes racial reconciliation and healing.
“When New Communities acquired Resora over a decade ago, we envisioned it as a place where we could farm the land, feed people’s minds, and empower our community. I look forward to the opportunities this new partnership will bring to our members, the rich stories that will continue to be passed on from guests, and the type of relaxation and recovery that only being in nature can provide.” Shirley Sherrod, co-founder of the New Communities Land Trust and Resora.
Support for black farmers
Through the Southwest Georgia Backcountry Trail, the New Communities Land Trust and Airbnb support their members in harnessing the rural tourism economy, as well as offering travelers relaxing rural getaways and opportunities to interact with black farming communities.
“Travel has long opened new doors to discovery – and the very nature of hospitality allows stories to be told, traditions shared and history to be understood first hand. We are thrilled to launch the Southwest Georgia Agritourism Trail with Shirley and the New Communities Land Trust to not only introduce these families to accommodation, but to educate the global Airbnb community about the past, present and future of Black agriculture.” Katherine Powell, Global Head of Hosting.
According to Airbnb, the number of domestic nights booked by U.S. guests on the Rural Stays platform has increased by 110 percent in 2021 compared to 2019.