Holiday farms are tapping new target groups
Get out of the city: wellness and activity holidays in the countryside
Fehmarn/Bremen, 28.5.2019. Farm holidays have a long tradition in Germany. Particularly in southern Germany and on the coast, many farms have been offering holiday opportunities in the countryside since the 1960s – and today they appeal to very different target groups. “Most of the guests are still families with children,” explains Silvia Höper-Rauert, who runs a farm on Fehmarn with her husband, “but we also have to adapt to demographic changes.” In 2015, the couple therefore built a wellness house with two semi-detached houses on the farm grounds in order to meet even the most discerning upscale guests. The house has a sauna, a whirlpool and a south-facing terrace with a view over the fields to the Baltic Sea. “In addition to country life with chickens, pigs, goats and the farm dog Emma, older guests also enjoy the tranquillity of the island or use the 300 km of cycling paths along the coast for an active holiday,” says Silvia Höper-Rauert.
More and more offers despite strict legal constraints
This is also noted by holiday agents such as the Bremen company Traum-Ferienwohnungen. Silvia Höpert-Rauert also promotes her Fehman farm via the largest German broker who does not take commission from neither landlord nor tenant. The number of farmhouses listed has almost doubled in the last five years. Managing director Sebastian Mastalka expressly praises the Höpert-Rauerts’ approach: “We now have more than 2,000 holiday apartments on farms in our portfolio. Particularly in demand are farms that come up with something special, such as wellness holidays or an introduction to organic farming.” And there are more and more of them, despite the difficult legal framework: “There are strict legal limitations on the establishment of new holiday apartments on farms. Yet this very form of very low-impact tourism is a great economic opportunity both for farmers and for structurally underdeveloped regions. Here we see the politicians have a duty to allow farmers to do more”, says Sebastian Mastalka of Traum-Ferienwohnungen.