Visitors to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park are increasingly coming to enjoy a flavour of the high quality food and drink on offer in the area. As a result the Food and Drink sector is now sustaining over 1,000 full time jobs in the National Park.
During 2015’s Year of Food & Drink, the National Park Authority worked with tourism businesses and producers to showcase the area’s excellent range of quality local produce from artisan breads and dairy, craft beers and gins to locally reared and butchered meats.
Since then, continued focus and promotion has encouraged more visitors to seek out authentic local eating experiences with exploring the food and drink offer now ranking in the top 3 planned activities – an increase of 30% since 2011.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “As well as having some of the most spectacular scenery in Scotland, the National Park is also home to some of the country’s finest produce and most talented producers as well a growing range of great places to eat. It’s great to see this drawing in more visitors and creating such significant growth in the visitor economy as well as creating jobs."
“As the National Park Authority one of our key aims is to support a thriving and sustainable local economy and to work with the business community to develop the area as a world class tourist destination. The food and drink offer within the National Park is a huge part of that and it highlights that there is something for everyone to enjoy here.”
The Year of Food & Drink in 2015 provided a great platform for the National Park to raise the profile of the excellent food and drink on offer across the area.
The Park Authority has continued to build on this by developing a dedicated section of its new website to celebrate producers, recipes by local chefs, and family-friendly foraging and picnic ideas.
The National Park also works with local communities to actively promote food festivals and farmers’ markets taking place across the area.
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Visitors that flock to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park not only experience breath-taking scenery but, as these impressive figures confirm, the very best food and drink too. In addition to enjoying the hills, ancient woodlands and Lochs, visitors can enjoy good quality restaurants, bars and cafes."
“Scotland’s food and drink is internationally renowned and makes a vital contribution to our economy delivering economic growth and helping stimulate our tourism sector. Our National Parks sustain thousands of jobs and it is important that visitors are treated to a high quality experience.”