Scotland’s food and drink and tourism sectors express their ambition for the country to become a global food tourism destination.
Food tourism is big business. Bringing producers and suppliers closer together with the tourism industry can be a key driver for economic, social and cultural development and evolution across the globe.
Providing unique taste of place experiences to locals and visitors alike that showcase the quality food and drink available to them, is now widely recognised to be an important way of boosting growth as well as raising the reputation of a destination.
Every visitor to Scotland eats and drinks and with 62%+ of holidaymakers believing it to be important that the food that they eat on holiday is locally sourced, Scotland is in a great position to harness the potential growth food tourism brings.
To capitalise on this opportunity, Scotland Food & Drink and the Scottish Tourism Alliance are working together, alongside the Culinary Tourism Alliance and as part of the newly appointed Food Tourism Strategy Board*, to develop Scotland’s first National Framework to Grow Food Tourism.
This new framework will provide Scotland with a huge opportunity to shine the spotlight on our own quality and diverse produce and to strengthen the association of Scotland as a place of outstanding food and drink experiences.
Food and drink is one of the themes in the national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020, which aspires to grow tourism spend by £1bn by 2020 and it is also a key part of the food and drink industry’s new and ambitious strategy, Ambition 2030.
The first stage in developing the new industry-driven food tourism framework calls for input from those who actively work in the food, drink and tourism sectors. The insights, input and feedback gained will be invaluable to the development of the strategy.
Food, drink and tourism businesses are strongly advised to take part in this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FoodTourismOpenSurvey
Fergus Ewing, Rural Affairs and Connectivity Minister said:
“Our food and drink industry is world renowned for its quality, and is a key contributor to Scotland’s economy. Whether people visit Scotland to sample our spectacular natural landscapes or our fantastic cities, the one thing you can guarantee is that visitors will eat and drink when they are here.
“Our Programme for Government outlined our commitment to develop a national food tourism action plan, which drives to promote local produce and extol the virtues of the quality and provenance of our wonderful larder, and I would encourage all businesses to get involved and help us shape the plan by participating in the survey.”
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink said:
“We have a huge opportunity to make Scotland one of the leading food and drink destinations in the world.
“Every day, almost £3 million is spent on food and drink by visitors in Scotland and we know that they are willing to pay even more for authentic food and drink experiences. Our food and drink is sold all over the world, from five-star hotels in Dubai to top bars in New York, but we want visitors in Scotland to have the same world class eating and drink experience.
“We’ve set an ambitious target in our new strategy, Ambition 2030, to more than double the size of the food and drink industry to £30 billion by 2030.
“In order to reach this, we need to build on growth opportunities for food and drink businesses and help them capitalise on the growing demand for food and drink experiences. It is our time to shine and I encourage everyone involved in the food, drink and tourism sectors to give their views and help us cement our reputation as a global food and drink destination.”
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said:
"The ambition of Tourism Scotland 2020, the national tourism strategy is to be ‘a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people.’
“Scotland’s food and drink is a hugely important part of this experience and it is more important than ever that all tourism businesses, destinations groups and groups interested in this area have the opportunity to have their say as this new food tourism framework is developed.
“Food and drink accounts for one in every five pounds spent by visitors and there is a clear opportunity for Scotland to grow into a global food tourism destination by working together to develop and deliver food and drink experiences at their best.
“As we start the process of developing our future Tourism Strategy to 2030 - delivering quality food and drink experiences will continue to be at the heart of the sector strategy as growing the food and drink visitor spend per person remains a real opportunity for all.”