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 the 'lucrative' market.

Findings from VisitScotland's 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%).  

READ MORE: Scotland’s reputation as 'must-visit' destination growing, new research finds

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.  

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:  “Scotland’s reputation for food and drink is exceptional. We want to share our world-class offering through memorable tourism experiences right across the country and build our reputation as a leading global destination for food and drink.  

“With this now a significant consideration for visitors choosing destinations and an integral part of their stay in Scotland, this presents a huge opportunity for businesses, which is why we have partnered with Scotland Food & Drink to create this new industry guide.  

“With particular demand for locally produced food and drink, developing this tourism offer can benefit those in the wider supply chain supporting communities and the economy as well as our own responsible tourism ambitions.” 

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink said: "Scotland's food tourism allure is undeniable, and our visitors are hungry for the authentic food and drink experiences available in every corner of the country.  

“As the demand for food and drink experiences surges, our new industry guide will allow businesses to seize the opportunity to tap into this lucrative market. From practical advice on crafting quality experiences to marketing insights and local produce sourcing guidance, this guide equips businesses to serve up unforgettable experiences and showcase Scotland's food and drink to the world." 

To access VisitScotland and Scotland Food & Drink industry guide, visit: