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Hairy Bikers join industry leaders at Scottish food tourism event

09/03/2023
Mairi Gougeon and The Hairy Bikers, with Regional Food Tourism Ambassadors

OVER 250 food tourism leaders came together in Glasgow yesterday (8th March) at Destination Scotland: The Power of Food Tourism to discuss the future of two of Scotland’s most prominent industries.

Attendees were inspired by leading industry experts including celebrity chefs The Hairy Bikers, globetrotting Instagram sensations, The Taste Cadets and food writer and Regional Food Tourism Ambassador, Ghillie Basan.

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The Hairy Bikers are incredible ambassadors for Scotland’s food and drink sector, having visited a number of businesses for their recent Go Local series including The Harbour Café in Fife and Blackthorn Salt, Ayrshire. During the session David Myers and Si King shared their top tips for businesses looking to expand their offering into food tourism.

They said: “It is always a pleasure to come to Scotland! Having spent time here filming for The Hairy Biker’s Go Local, we know how passionate and excited the industry is about the opportunities for food tourism, and it was wonderful to see a room full of such enthusiasm in Glasgow. Scotland has a rich larder of amazing produce, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds as more and more businesses come together to create unique and exciting tourism experiences.”

Mairi Gougeon, The Cabinet Secretary of Rural Affairs and Islands officially opened the Power of Food Tourism Conference, which took place alongside ScotHot – Scotland’s premier showcase for food, drink, hospitality and tourism. She said: “I am delighted to have been asked to open this year’s Scottish Food Tourism Conference.

“As well as being highly sought after across the world, food and drink is an essential part of our economy, helping in creating business opportunities and jobs.

“By encouraging visitors from both home and abroad to come and sample our great Scottish fare, not only are we showcasing the fantastic food and drink available but also providing an economic boost to the nation.”

Visitors to Scotland spend around £1 billion a year on food and drink annually and there are clear plans in place to grow food tourism opportunities through the industry-led Food Tourism Scotland Action Plan.

Fiona Richmond, Scotland Food & Drink’s Head of Regional Food, said: “Scotland is rich in culture, history and food, and the opportunities for the future potential of our industry are endless. Events like these are instrumental in bringing industries together to collaborate, learn and achieve our potential. We had a fantastic day in Glasgow learning from a first- class line up of speakers and we can’t wait to see the collaborative projects that unfold from this event.”

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