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Comrie Croft

Local food and drink top of the menu

It is Scotland Loves Local Week and VisitScotland has revealed that trying local food and drink is one of the top activities for people enjoying a summer holiday in Scotland this year.

Latest statistics from the consumer sentiment tracker*, which is commissioned by VisitScotland, VisitEngland and Visit Wales to explore UK residents’ travel intentions, show that indulging in regional delicacies is the second most popular activity (38%).

Tucking into local grub came just behind walking, hiking or rambling (43%) but ahead of visiting heritage sites (i.e., castles and historic houses – 37%) and nature and wildlife experiences (30%).

Over the last five years, food and drink has continued to be an important part of the visitor experience. Research** from 2021 showed that 75 per cent of Scottish residents thinking about future holidays or short breaks in Scotland would be willing to choose independent local shops, cafés, restaurants in Scotland. More than half (53 per cent) would be willing to pay more for locally sourced and produced food and drink.

And pre-pandemic**, it was estimated that visitors spend around £1 billion on eating and drinking when they’re on holiday in Scotland.

VisitScotland runs the Taste Our Best award which is designed to promote the use of Scottish produce within the tourism industry. It supports local businesses and promotes reducing carbon footprints and food miles. The award recognises businesses and staff offering great quality Scottish food and drink experiences and aims to raise service standards.

Organised by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the first Scotland Loves Local week aims to highlight the importance of people choosing local for the future of Scotland’s communities. Local restaurants, cafes, delis and farm shops are an integral part of our visitor economy, supporting jobs and enhancing an area’s tourism offering.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “Scotland’s food and drink has long been a jewel in our tourism crown. The country’s landscape, extensive coastline and history have shaped our incredible larder and made it world renowned.

“Our research shows that consumers are looking to connect with the people and places associated with their food and drink purchases and there is a growing trend in artisanal food especially. “There has never been a more important time to engage with local food and drink producers and businesses – to encourage the traditional skills and food heritage, lessen the food miles, and help boost the economies of the communities in which these businesses are based. It is crucial that visitors and Scots support local businesses where they can, and there is plenty on the menu to be savoured, with Scotland serving stunning scenery, mouth-watering food and drink and totally new experiences.”

Scotland Loves Local Week continues until 3 September and encourages councils, community organisations, Business Improvement Districts and individual enterprises to organise – and take part in – activities in their area.

To find out how you can get involved, visit

To learn more about Scotland’s food and drink offering visit *

Local food and drink top of the menu

Asset type post
ID 192453
Word count 530 words


Licence Editorial A Licence to use assets for editorial purposes, which is, to illustrate an event or story in an article but not commercially such as marketing a product or print ad. An Editorial asset may show a brand, a trademarked logo or product, a public personality, or recognisable people, without a signed release or with limited releases. When you use VisitScotland Editorial content you do so to illustrate Scottish tourism in a positive way.
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