The First Minister and Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP with, right, James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink and, left, Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance
A new plan to develop food and drink tourism in Scotland will aim to deliver an additional £1,000 million to Scotland’s economy by 2030.
The industry-led Food Tourism Scotland Action Plan, launched yesterday by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and industry partners on the Isle of Arran, sets out a range of actions to maximise the potential of two of Scotland’s most successful sectors - tourism and food and drink.
Visitors to Scotland already spend around £1,000 million a year on food and drink. The action plan aims to unlock the growth potential and double the expenditure on local produce.
Measures in the plan include the creation of a food tourism apprenticeship programme; supporting the top 100 visitor attractions to achieve ‘Taste Our Best’, the quality assurance accreditation scheme promoting local sourcing; improved marketing for food and drink tourism; creating the next generation of agri-tourism monitor farms to stimulate diversification; and a further programme of Showcasing Scotland events.
The First Minister and Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP met Alastair Dobson of A Taste of Arran – a champion of food tourism - while on the island for a meeting of the Scottish Cabinet.
Making the announcement on the eve of National Food and Drink Fortnight, the First Minister said:
“Scotland is already renowned as the land of food and drink, with our quality produce known throughout the world. With around £1,000 million being spent on food on drink by visitors each year, the economic benefits are clear.
“This action plan will bring together everyone in the food and tourism sectors to build on that success story.
“Many great things are already happening. Here in Arran I’ve seen how quality local produce attracts visitors and enhances their experience of Scotland. Now is the time for everyone to work together to make sure that we can make the most of everything this growing sector has to offer.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
"Scottish food and dink is already sold all over the world, but we can further enhance its reputation by ensuring visitors to Scotland enjoy a world-class eating and drinking experience.
“This plan sets out a fresh, cohesive, and nationwide approach to food tourism, making the most of the excellent reputation that Scottish food, drink and tourism has already established for itself on the world stage.”