This week guest blogger Virginia Sumsion, Co-coordinator for ‘Food from Argyll’ writes about the growing reputation of Argyll and the Isles as a food destination and an exciting event coming this Autumn to Oban.
Following initial conversations well over a year ago, and prompted by the opportunity provided by the Year of Food and Drink, Food from Argyll, along with Argyll & the Isles Tourism, Argyll & Bute Council and HIE, hatched a plan to bring a national Food Tourism event to Argyll. Oban came out as the chosen location and this November Taste for Tourism will welcome delegates from the tourism and food sectors to discuss how to make Scotland a global food destination. Food and tourism should be natural bed fellows and both industries are crucial to Scotland’s economic prosperity. While we have many great examples of where this is being put into practice there is much work to be done to provide visitors with a joined up experience leading them through the wonderful locations we have while enjoying the best we can provide in terms of food, drink, accommodation and activities. There is a growth in tourists whose primary purpose in visiting an area is the food and drink and we are ideally placed to benefit from these visitors.
The Taste for Tourism conference will take place from the 3rd to 5th November with learning journeys throughout Argyll taking place on the 3rd, an evening event hosted by Cal Mac that night, the main conference on the 4th at the Corran Halls including international speakers, followed by a dinner at the Gathering Halls. There will be an optional trip to Mull on the 5th. Full details are on the event web site: www.tastefortourism.scot and bookings are now being taking.
Delegates will go home with practical ideas, plans and inspiration for building their own businesses alongside a network of likeminded providers. Food and drink for the event will be provided by Food from Argyll members and other local suppliers so no-one will go home hungry! Thanks to the support of partner organisations who have joined the initial group of funders (Cal Mac, Visit Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance) delegate fees have been kept as low as possible and at £150 for the 2 evening events plus the main conference (all meals included) it represents excellent value and we would urge all those interested to book up as soon as possible as places are limited.
The event organisers will be working with OLTA to arrange accommodation within Oban for those delegates staying overnight and it will provide a boost in numbers for the town during that week. We are looking forward to showcasing what we have achieved in Argyll over recent years and what more we plan to do.