With the start of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight this weekend, VisitScotland has unveiled a bespoke toolkit to aid tourism businesses.
It is hoped that the free, online toolkit will provide businesses with the ingredients needed to attract visitors during the Year of Food and Drink in 2015.
Hosted on the national tourism organisation’s corporate website - visitscotland.org - and available for download, the online toolkit contains resources such as logos, marketing guidance, funding information and general advice to ensure that businesses the length and breadth of the country can cater for an influx of foodie fans.
Worth an estimated £14bn to the Scottish economy, the food and drink industry has enjoyed strong growth since 2007, with domestic sales increasing by almost a third, and overseas sales up 50% during the same time.
Research has shown that two thirds of Scotland’s visitors think that quality food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday. Visitors are also willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin, providing a real financial incentive for tourism businesses to promote their food and drink offerings.
The Year of Food and Drink will celebrate the role that Scottish cuisine plays in shaping the country’s economic success. It also aims to raise awareness of Scottish produce as well as of Scotland’s restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, takeaways, cafes and visitor attractions.
Commenting on the new toolkit, Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Promoting Scotland’s food and drink is a recipe for success.
“It provides visitors with a chance to sample our outstanding natural larder and at the same time there is potential for significant growth within our tourism industry, with visitors to Scotland spending over a fifth of their holiday budget on eating and drinking.
“We hope this toolkit will help tourism businesses around Scotland prepare for next year and encourage their visitors to enjoy a year of absolutely magnificent food and drink moments.”
To download a free copy of the Year of Food and Drink toolkit visit: www.visitscotland.org/year-of-food-and-drink.aspx