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Food for thought

Press Release   •   Sep 03, 2014 10:10 BST

With the start of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight this weekend (6 September), VisitScotland has unveiled a bespoke free toolkit to provide Scotland’s tourism 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, 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

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.”

Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive James Withers commented: “It is appropriate that the toolkit is released ahead of this year’s Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight which celebrates the country’s fantastic produce and takes place 6-21 September.

"The Year of Food and Drink provides an excellent opportunity to promote Scotland's most successful export industry and continue the increased momentum and profile it has enjoyed in 2014. Scotland boasts an excellent larder of premium produce borne out of the quality of our natural environment and we're recognised as a Land of Food and Drink as a result.

"We will continue working with partners across the food and drink industry as well as VisitScotland to maximise the impact and benefit of the initiative. Information on how the food and drink industry can engage with the Year will follow shortly with a bespoke toolkit tailored to the sector."

To download a free copy of the Year of Food and Drink toolkit visit

Notes to Editors:

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to