Farmers make most of old cottage
Waihopai Valley farmers Jenny and Roland Mapp converted a derelict cottage on their land into luxury accommodation eight years ago.
They branded the experience as Off The Mapp at Spray Point Station because of their isolated location, which had no cellphone coverage.
They started with an idea of supplementing their farm income but realised the cottage had greater potential.
About 40 per cent of guests were overseas visitors, spending double that of domestic guests, Mrs Mapp said.
"People are looking for a personal story. They want to engage and connect with New Zealanders and see what we do on a daily basis. As farmers, we do not realise that what we take for granted, other people see as extraordinary."
Farmers had to establish their own point of difference, she said.
"If you don't have an obvious point of interest, create it yourself. Our outdoor baths have become a big feature. If you have a genuine interest in people and like the product, your enthusiasm is contagious."
The Marlborough Express