Dumfries and Galloway’s regional food organisation DG Food and Drink is urging businesses involved in our region’s two most valuable industries to take part in a national food tourism survey, the results of which will help to inform the development of Scotland’s first National Framework to Grow Food Tourism.

According to Scottish Government data, tourism is worth £132million to the region’s local economy each year while food and drink, excluding agriculture, is worth a staggering £260million annually. In addition, Dumfries and Galloway has 45% of Scotland’s dairy cows, and is the second biggest producer of beef and sheep in Scotland.

Lorna Young of DG Food and Drink said:
“Food and drink and tourism are our region’s most valuable economic sectors by a considerable distance, and it’s clear that these two sectors are the engine of our region’s economy. While it’s important that our food, drink and tourism industries continue to be supported locally, our region also has an important role to play in informing national policies and priorities.

“We have a track record of food tourism success in Dumfries and Galloway, with many of our most popular visitor attractions also being food production businesses. High quality and memorable food tourism experiences are an important part of our vibrant local events scene; everything from oyster festivals to farmers’ markets to some of the most acclaimed wild food foraging courses in the UK.

“This food tourism survey will underpin the national priorities for growing food tourism and it’s extremely important that our region’s voice is heard. This is an opportunity to make sure that our local expertise in successfully delivering collaborative food tourism initiatives feeds into the national framework. Food tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the world and we need to recognise the opportunity this presents to our regional economy and invest in it.”

It’s hoped the Scottish National Framework to Grow Food Tourism will be an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the quality and diversity of local produce, and to strengthen the association of Scotland as a place of outstanding food and drink experiences.

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink, said:
“Our food and drink industry is renowned for its quality, and is a key contributor to Dumfries & Galloway’s economy. Whether people visit the region to sample the spectacular natural landscapes or the fantastic towns and villages, the one thing you can guarantee is that visitors will eat and drink when they are here.

“Food tourism is big business and every day, almost £3 million is spent on food and drink by visitors in Scotland. In order to capitalise on this growing demand, we have committed to creating a national food tourism action plan. We want Scotland to be known as a global food destination and I encourage all businesses to take part in this survey.”

An overview of Dumfries and Galloway’s food tourism experiences can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kQD-heitqY

Food, drink and tourism businesses can take part in the online survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FoodTourismOpenSurvey