Fri 1 Jul 16
The growing reputation of Scotland's restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs resulted in a visitor spend of almost £1 billion on food and drink, the highest ever recorded, during the Year of Food and Drink 2015.
The figure is one of a number of highlights included in a final report on the themed year, published today (Friday 1 July) by the national tourism organisation.
The findings illustrate how much Scotland's reputation for quality and diverse food and drink has grown in the past decade.
Last year, 65% of visitors to Scotland strongly agreed that 'Scotland is a great place for food' while the Scotland Visitor Survey 2015 found that visitors experience of food and drink was above their expectation.
In total, visitor spend on food and drink increased by 5.2% from £942m in 2014 to £994m in 2015.
International visitor spend on food and drink also rose during 2015, up by 21% from £268m in 2014 to £339m in 2015.
The Year of Food and Drink, a Scottish Government initiative led by VisitScotland and supported by Scotland Food & Drink and Think Local, showcased Scotland's natural larder to the world. It played its part in keeping the food and drink sector on track to meet a record turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017.
Other highlights of the year include:
• Record turnover figure for Scotland's Food and Drink industry, £14.3 billion.
• 47 Year of Food and Drink funded events attended by over one million people.
• 1,000th Scottish business receiving 'Taste Our Best', VisitScotland's accreditation scheme which recognises businesses that provide locally sourced, quality food and drink. Number of businesses doubled within 12 months.
• Three national food trails launched including East of Scotland Seafood Trail, Ice Cream Trail and Berry Trail.
• Over 1,008 Scottish producers showcased their produce at events supported by the Year
• 59 initiatives supported by the Community Food Fund, worth over £397,000.
• Scotland's natural larder featured in a dedicated TV advert reaching approximately 18.7 million people.
• You'll Have Had Yer Tea? Treasured Tastes of Scotland recipe book being released, featuring more than 40 traditional recipes submitted by the public.
• Scotland Food & Drink and Think Local collaborated on the creation of 12 industry-focused food and drink themes which highlighted the wealth of Scotland's offering, from Summer Berries & Fruits, Delicious Dairy and Sustainable Shores to The Future of Food.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:
"The 2015 Year of Food and Drink was about inspiring people and visitors to celebrate Scotland, a country rich in diverse produce. The headline results highlight the year's success with visitor spend on food and drink increasing by nearly £200million since 2010 and the highest ever recorded.
"These figures, along with the engagement of businesses across the country in this initiative, demonstrate strength within the tourism and food and drink sectors. Scotland will continue to grow as a premier provider of iconic food and drink, giving us the opportunity to draw visitors from across the world and helping to boost the success of our world-renowned natural larder"
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:
"The Year of Food and Drink 2015 was a phenomenal success, helping to raise the profile of Scotland's outstanding natural larder on the world stage. It built on the momentum generated by previous themed years and further enhanced Scotland's reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
"Promoting our food and drink truly is a recipe for success with two out of three visitors to Scotland stating that quality of food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday.
"This final report confirms what a fantastic impact the Year of Food and Drink had on Scottish tourism last year. The Year may be at an end, but food and drink remains an important focus in attracting visitors to Scotland now and in the future."
Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink Project Manager, said:
"Announced during the Year of Food and Drink, the latest industry figures show a record turnover and indicate we're on track to reach our target of £16.5bn by 2017 at a time we're working with partners to devise the strategy which will take the industry to 2030. Food and drink is Scotland's fastest growing sector and we have an increasingly established reputation for our world class produce and fantastic natural larder.
"The Food Charter is a valuable legacy from 2014, ensuring that Year of Food and Drink events provided a strong offering of Scottish food and drink. The results of Year of Food and Drink research confirm the important role played by the country's food and drink in attracting visitors and boosting spend. It is important that food and drink remains a priority for the tourism sector, the two industries are already work closely together to support respective growth."
To read the Year of Food and Drink 2015 Activity and Outcome Summary, visit http://www.visitscotland.org/YFD2015_Summary.aspx