Fife Tourism Partnership

Food Tourism Industry Guide

New research by VisitScotland has revealed growing visitor demand for Scotland’s food and drink experiences.

It comes as the national tourism organisation, in partnership with Scotland Food & Drink, launches a new industry guide to help tourism businesses take a share of this lucrative market, which globally reached £757 billion in 2023.

Findings from the Scotland Visitor Survey 2023 showed that almost half of visitors (46%) took part in at least one food and drink activity (in addition to eating out) during their trip last year, with nearly a fifth (19%) of long-haul visitors now naming food and drink as the reason for choosing Scotland as a destination.

Visiting a whisky, gin distillery or brewery (26%) was the most popular type of food and drink activity followed by farm shop or farmers market (22%), fine dining (14%) or other experience such as a cookery class or afternoon tea (9%).

Experiencing locally produced food and drink was important to all visitors, especially those from the USA (51%) who make up Scotland’s largest international visitor market.

This rise in food related travel is a global trend, driven by increasing consumer interest in food and drink combined with a desire for more unique and authentic travel experiences boosted by social media and television shows, such as Somebody Feed Phil which recently featured an episode on Scotland.

Experiences involve learning about, appreciating or consuming food and drink that reflects the history, heritage and culture of a place

With the global food tourism predicted to be worth £2,500 billion by 2032, this market presents huge opportunity for Scotland which is why VisitScotland has partnered with sector specialists Scotland Food & Drink to create a free industry guide to help businesses grow and develop their food and drink offering.

Included in the guide is:

Practical advice on how businesses can create a quality food and drink tourism experience.

Market insight from Scotland Food & Drink and the VisitScotland Scotland Visitor Survey 2023.

Marketing advice – from creating social media content and working with influencers to collaborating with other businesses.

Local produce sourcing guidance – how to source and use more local produce and promote Scottish ingredients.

Case studies – of businesses from across the country who have built a successful food and drink tourism experience, from creating an immersive dining experience in the heart of Glasgow to foraging tours and outdoor cooking at a restored croft in the Highlands.

Useful resources – including upskilling and funding opportunities.

Food Tourism Industry Guide

Industry Reports

Culinary Tourism Market Report 2024 

Scotland Food & Drink, Food Tourism Scotland

Culinary Tourism Market Report 2024 

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