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Scotland is ‘invité d'honneur’!

Press Release   •   Dec 01, 2015 10:11 GMT

Fifteen Scottish tourism businesses are making a special voyage to France to showcase everything from homemade fudge to pottery, cheese to jewellery as Scotland is welcomed as ‘guest of honour’ at one of France’s most prestigious Christmas markets.

Every year, a German-style Christmas market is held in Montbéliard, a town situated in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France.

It is one of the top three largest Christmas markets in France and is attended by around 400,000 visitors from across Europe.

Each year the Montbéliard Council names a country as its ‘guest of honour’ and this year Scotland has been bestowed the honour in celebration of Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015. A contingent of Scottish businesses, supported by VisitScotland, will represent Scotland. Tourism materials supplied by the national tourism organisation will also be on display at the market.

Businesses from the honoured country get prime positioning during the market which runs from 28 November to 24 December.

The 15 Scottish businesses exhibiting are:

  • Creations - Tartan Bodices, Ross-shire
  • Lys and Rose, Edinburgh
  • The Green Deer, Edinburgh
  • Buchlyvie Pottery Shop, Buchlyvie, Stirlingshire
  • We are Rushworth, Auchencrow, Berwickshire
  • Wild Rose Escapes, Beauly, Inverness-shire
  • Build Rwanda, Edinburgh
  • Wooha Brewing, Nairn
  • Strathearn Distillery, Perthshire
  • Ardshealach, Acharacle, Argyll
  • Lovsushi, Bankfoot, Perthshire
  • Highland Hog Roast, Cannich, Inverness-shire
  • The Damn Cheese Company, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire
  • Kilted Fudge Company, Aviemore, Inverness-shire
  • Alainn Tours

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“The Montbéliard Christmas market is a fantastic platform to showcase the quality and diversity of Scotland’s food and drink industry, hand-crafted retail sector and accommodation and tour providers.

“That Scotland should be honoured at this prestigious event goes to prove our reputation for quality local produce is growing across the world and it is fitting that the country should be recognised in this way at the end of the Year of Food and Drink 2015.

"Food is an integral part of the visitor experience with visitors to Scotland willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin. We hope visitors to the market will get a taste for Scotland and be inspired to make the journey to the origin of their bounty.”

Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink Project Manager, said:

“Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing sector with a value in excess of £14bn a year and more than £2.5m per day generated to the Scottish economy through food and drink tourism.

“Scotland has a growing and deserving reputation as a Land of Food and Drink thanks to the world-class quality of our larder. It is fitting that Scotland is Montbeliard’s guest of honour during the Year of Food and Drink and I’m confident that visitors will enjoy the Scottish produce served in the run up to Christmas.”

For more on the Montbéliard Christmas market go to

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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’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • 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.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy 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.
    • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
    • 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 events in Scotland go to

    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit