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Visit Scotland | Alba


  • Food and drink are a key part of a visit to Scotland, with visitors keen to try local food and drink
  • Thanks to our landscape, we have a rich, natural larder and plenty of home grown produce to offer visitors. We have diverse food and drink experiences and passionate local food ambassadors
  • We explored the role of food and drink in the visitor experience within our topic papers. We also signpost to food and drink insights within different research studies

1. Food and drink topic paper

Food tourism is not just about niche culinary experiences sought out by the dedicated foodie. It's about regionally relevant food and drink offerings.

To be appealing, these need to provide something appealing for every occasion, every budget and every taste.

When people are away from home, authenticity and diversity are key.


Food and drink is an important part of the visitor experience with visitors keen to try local food and drink.

Scotland’s food and drink products and activities can align with the perceived benefits of a holiday or short break in Scotland.

They do so by connecting visitors to Scotland’s natural environment, local people, local customs and helping to create a sense of place.

Opening up Scotland's larder to our visitors

Published October 2017

Insight innovation: Artisanal retail and food and drink

Published May 2021

3. Responsible tourism

In 2021, we conducted research with a sample of Scottish residents. In doing so, we explored their views on responsible tourism and their potential future travel behaviours. Details of the methodology and sample are available within the full report. Within the research we found that:

  • Domestic holidays: There may be deep-rooted beliefs around accommodation choice and travel options. But, there is some willingness to change around some areas of responsible tourism. This is most notably around food and drink choices, energy consumption and car free days

  • Thinking about future holidays or short breaks in Scotland: 75% would be willing to choose independent local shops, cafés, restaurants in Scotland

  • 53% would be willing to pay more for locally sourced and produced food and drink
  • 22% would choose vegan or vegetarian options more often when eating out on holiday in Scotland
Read the full report

4. Agritourism Growth Tracker 2022

In 2022, we undertook the Scottish Agritourism Growth Tracker on behalf of Scottish Agritourism. Details of the methodology and sample are available within the full report.

We found a significant value and opportunity for Scotland’s farms, rural communities, and visitor economy. This included a food and drink experience as part of Scotland’s agritourism offering.

Read the full report
Logo Scottish Agritourism

5. Scotland Visitor Survey 2023

We are currently conducting a visitor survey across Scotland. We speak to overnight visitors on the ground in Scotland. On their return home, we'll have a follow-up online survey so that we get a full picture of their visitor experience.

As part of this, we will be asking about the food and drink activities they have undertaken. The research will be in field until the end of the year and results will be available in 2024.

6. VisitBritain MIDAS research 2022

In 2022, our partner, VisitBritain, undertook comprehensive research with international leisure travellers. They spoke to global tourists from many markets. The research focused on perceptions and experiences of Britain. But there were insights which are useful for the Scottish tourism industry.

82% of international travellers surveyed felt that "there is a good variety of food and drink to try" was an important consideration when choosing a destination for an international break or holiday.

Read the full VisitBritain Midas research


Western European visitors were more likely to demand a variety of interesting people, experiences, and food and beverage options. These needs seem more distinctive than drivers in the other European regions.

Northeast Asian tourists are more inclined to choose destinations based more around strong reputation for food and drink options. They are, however, also drawn to vibrant places.

7. UK consumer segments

We use a segmentation model at VisitScotland to help optimise our marketing spend. You can use this model to find out about our UK consumer segments, including food-loving culturalists.

Explore our target UK consumer segments

8. Additional research on food and drink

Related links