Boom in gastro-tourism boosts UK food industry

The UK food industry is set to benefit from a boom in gastro-tourism – according to research from Food from Britain. Far from shunning Britain in favour of its gastronomic European cousins, Brits are now happy to stay on terra firma for their holidays with the promise of delicious regional food and drink of their doorsteps. Britain, once infamous for its unpalatable food, is now a nation of mouth-watering delights so tempting that more than two-thirds (68%) of Brits, who say that food and drink influence their holiday choice, would consider holidaying here because of the food and drink on offer.

In recent years the public has become increasingly aware of regional produce, such as scones served with Cornish clotted cream, Morecambe Bay Shrimps, Cromer crabs and regional cheeses, including Stilton and Wensleydale. There is also a growing trend for Brits to visit specific restaurants known for their quality produce or go for food and drink tourist attractions – 64 per cent of those in the NOP survey agreed they would consider visiting them while holidaying in this country.

The West Country was revealed as the top British location for its regional produce, such as West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and Somerset cider, with one in five people saying they would be most likely to visit that region for its food and drink. London, which plays host to a plethora of internationally renowned restaurants, and Northern Scotland, famed for its whisky and smoked salmon, were the second most popular, while Wales came third.

“The results confirm that food tourism is a burgeoning industry in the UK,” said Jane Wakeling, Regional Food and Drink Manager, Food from Britain. “For a long time restaurants and food and drink producers in the UK have been reversing the perception of Britain as a nation of poor food, capable only of preparing fish and chips and roast beef. However, Britain now boasts 14 entries in the list of the world’s 50 best restaurants and an English wine has just been named the best sparkling wine in the world.”