The Taste of Tourism campaign has been designed to attract hundreds of thousands more visitors to Scotland by encouraging food and drink firms to work with tourism businesses.
“The Taste for Tourism campaign aims to catapult Scotland to the top of the wish-list for tourists who see high quality food and drink as a rich cultural experience and the main reason to travel,” organisers said.
“That means not just ensuring that top quality local produce is widely available in hotels, pubs and restaurants, but that we celebrate this important part of our culture with our visitors and that this is at the heart of as many activities and experiences as possible.”
Every one in five pounds
Export similar to North Sea oil and gas
“The [Scottish food and drink] sector has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. In fact, the current rate of growth continues then we will have an export rate similar to that of the North Sea oil and gas industry.”
- Source: Richard Lochhead, Scottish food and drink secretary
Food and drink already accounted for one in every five pounds spent by visitors to Scotland, claimed the director of the Argyll & the Isles Tourism Co-operative Calum Ross.
“That could be higher if hotels, tour operators and other tourism stakeholders work together with producers to highlight the wealth of excellent food and drink that is on offer and to share our wonderful traditions,” he said.
The value of Scotland’s food and drink industry could be boosted further by emphasising its credentials as a food and drink destination to consumers in other countries, Ross added.
Marketing and events manager at Food from Argyll Virginia Sumsion said: “The international food and drink tourism market is worth hundreds of millions of pounds and Scotland already has a share of it, which will undoubtedly rise.
‘Enjoy food and drink’
“We can do even better if we build ourselves into a place not just where great produce is made among beautiful scenery, but somewhere that has the destinations and tourist attractions to bring in visitors whose primary purpose is to enjoy food and drink and the heritage surrounding it.”
A ‘Has Scotland got what it takes to be a global food tourism destination?’ conference will also be held in Oban, Argyll, between November 3 and 5.
Meanwhile, Scotland set out its £4.5M Food and Drink Export Plan last year, which would deliver a “transformational … massive push on international exports”, according to officials.
The plan targeted eight key markets, which were: North America, France, Germany, the Middle East, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South East Asia.