An estimated £26m is spent on food and drink every year by visitors from Great Britain staying overnight in Dumfries and Galloway, new figures have revealed.
The figures come as a 12-month celebration of Scotland’s natural larder was launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, as several award winning businesses in Dumfries and Galloway showcase the best of Scottish food and drink.
The Year of Food and Drink will build upon the momentum generated in 2014, increase and promote Scottish produce across the tourism sector and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
It will be supported by VisitScotland including with a new TV advert, a bespoke logo, an event fund, aYear of Food and Drink Growth Fund, social media activity, industry engagement and international marketing which will focus on connecting ‘plate to place’ - linking the country’s food and drink with brilliant moments around Scotland.
With trying local food ranked as the top activity undertaken by visitors to Dumfries & Galloway, the region’s reputation for quality food and drink experiences is growing. There are currently nearly 30 Taste Our Best accredited businesses in Dumfries and Galloway including recent awardees; Balcary Bay Hotel at Auchencairn, Benutium B&B in Kirkcudbright and Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel by Stranraer, Marrbury Smokehouse at Bargrennan and Mill on the Fleet at Gatehouse of Fleet.
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, said: “The Year of Food and Drink is a fantastic opportunity to show off at home and abroad the delicious local produce we have right on our doorstep and to build on the already phenomenal success of our food and drink sector.”
Fergus Ewing, Tourism Minister, added:“Food is an integral part of the tourism experience and this year will showcase Scotland’s quality produce as well as raising the awareness of Scotland’s restaurants, hotels and visitor attractions.”