An additional £50,000 package which is designed to encourage more tourists to enjoy Scottish food and drink has been announced by Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop.
FDMB Scotland understands that the funding will support a review of VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best quality assurance scheme which celebrates businesses that provide locally sourced, quality food and drink. It will also promote food tourism more widely, including the delivery of a joint Tourism, Food and Drink Conference Expo next March – Scottish tourism month.
Upon confirming the funding, Ms Hyslop commented: “Scotland is famed for its natural larder – from Scotch whisky and beef to Atlantic salmon and craft beer – bringing visitors from around the world to our restaurants and shops. Being aware of and responsive to traveller trends means we are well-placed to double food tourism spend to £2 billion by 2030.
“I am keen that visitors get a proper taste of Scotland and that is why we are strengthening our efforts to support the Food Tourism Scotland Action Plan, launched by the First Minister last year and jointly led by the Scottish Tourism Alliance and Scotland Food & Drink.
“This investment will help build on the great work already underway and allow more of our hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions to showcase a wider range of local food for locals and visitors to enjoy.”
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and Chair of the Food Tourism Board, said: “This is welcome support that will enable the next set of priority actions to be taken forward, especially in the month that Scotland’s 2030 tourism vision to be the world leader in 21st century tourism was unveiled.
“To achieve our collective tourism vision will also require business and destinations across Scotland to be promoting and delivering the very best authentic, memorable food tourism experiences.”
Denise Hill, Head of Engagement at VisitScotland, said: “Food tourism is a key part of the visitor experience, with 66% of our visitors telling us that food is important when choosing a holiday destination.
“You don’t have to travel very far in Scotland to find incredible dishes, drinks and produce on offer and our amazing natural larder, including seafood, game, soft fruits, dairy, meat, beer, gin and whisky, boosts our profile as a nation of fantastic food and drink experiences.
“Taste our Best plays a vital role in promoting and celebrating businesses that supply high quality, locally sourced food and drink. With around 1,000 regularly inspected hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, cafes, visitor attractions and takeaways across Scotland having now achieved the accreditation, it is easy for visitors to find Scottish produce prepared with care and delivered with passion.”