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Highland Show's £70m economic boost

With advanced ticket sales up by 10%, and 176,000 visitors, this year's Royal Highland Show is expected to provide a £70 million boost to the country's economy, organisers have claimed.

The show's sponsorship earnings of £400,000 are the highest to date.

James Grant-Suttie, deputy chief steward, told the Sunday Herald that the promotion of smaller Scottish businesses was a key aim of the four-day event, which ends today.

"It's a massive shop window for Scottish food and drink. There is a trend for local produce and we give smaller companies a better rate. More often than not it helps to provide a foothold for newly set-up businesses," he said.

One exhibitor, Tony Reeman-Clark, director of Strathearn Distiller, "the smallest distillery in Scotland", said the show had a very positive effect on raising his profile. "This is the beginning of the micro-distilling revolution," he said.

Donald Morrison, sales and ­marketing director of Aberdeenshire-based ice-cream maker Rizza's, said: "We hope the show will push sales and promote brand awareness. We already deliver to the likes of St Andrews and Skye; exhibiting here will help to extend the brand south."

A spokesperson for wine producer Cairn O'Mohr, said: "We are quite a well-established brand anyway; lots of people come to our stand to try, not buy, but it means they know about us. At the end of the day if you make no sales, it's a marketing loss; if you make a profit, do it again."

This year's show saw the launch of the Food Charter, an industry-backed initiative ensuring the food and drink available on site is locally sourced and ethically produced. The show's Ingliston home will host a further event, Eat Drink Discover Scotland, from September 12 to 14, focusing on Scottish produce. An expected 15,000 visitors will "eat and drink their way around Scotland in one day".

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