Deputy First Minister Leads Call to Go Rural with Publication of New Map
A new map showcasing Scotland’s best farms and crofts to visit to buy food and drink, to spend the day or to stay on holiday has been launched by sector body Scottish Agritourism, to celebrate Scottish Agritourism Month.
The Go Rural map will make it easy for both locals and visitors to find working farms and crofts to experience, as people look to enjoy the Scottish countryside, get outdoors and experience food and drink direct from a farmer.
217 farms are featured in this year’s guide, up from 135 in 2022. Over 10,000 copies are being distributed throughout Scotland in VisitScotland information centres and further copies will be distributed by Scottish Agritourism members within their own businesses throughout Scotland, from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway. A digital version of the map and guide to Scotland’s agritourism sector is also featured on www.goruralscotland.com.
Agritourism is increasing in popularity as consumers seek the authentic experiences which visiting a farm can provide. The map includes information encouraging members of the public to act responsibly and be safe in the countryside.
Caroline Millar, Scottish Agritourism Sector Lead, also Co-Chair of Scotland’s Agritourism Strategy Implementation Board, said: “We are delighted to launch our 2023 map as we celebrate Scotland’s first ever national agritourism month in May. Scotland’s farms and crofts welcome over 1.5 million visitors every year through agritourism and there is a target to increase this to 2 million per year by 2030 in line with the national strategy. This map will help people visit multiple destinations across Scotland and drive-up tourism spend in rural Scotland.”
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison, was presented with a copy of the new map at the Scottish Parliament by Caroline Millar, along with Scottish Agritourism Board Member and agritourism business owner, Kay Wilson, from Lennox of Lomond and Laura Paterson, Scottish Agritourism’s Marketing and Communications Manager. Ms Robison, said: “Agritourism has a long-term sustainable future in Scotland that delivers a high-quality, authentic visitor experience and also helps support the future of family farms and the wider rural economy.
“The launch of this map is a golden opportunity to showcase our iconic landscape, food and drink as well as bring together urban and rural communities.
“I would urge everyone to use the map to take advantage of what the sector has to offer – we might not be able to guarantee the weather but we can promise a warm welcome and memorable experience.”