Promoting Scottish produce
Enterprise and Tourism Minister Jim Mather will be in Perthshire today to celebrate the superb food and drink the region produces for residents and visitors.
Mr Mather said that the area has the potential to be a 'must visit destination' for food enthusiasts and can capitalise on the Scottish year of food and drink, which is encouraging visitors from across the world to visit and sample all the fantastic, fresh produce the area has to offer.
The visits will take the Minister to Birnam and Blairgowrie, where he will discuss the future of the local tourism industry and hear about how an innovative project is bringing businesses together to promote Perthshire's excellent local produce.
In Birnam, the Minister will join representatives from Perth and Kinross Council to meet with a range of local tourism stakeholders to discuss how businesses and organisations across the region can work together to promote Perthshire as a destination for visitors.
Mr Mather will then head to Blairgowrie to meet those behind the LovetoEat2010 project, which is helping local people to engage and recognise the food heritage of the Blairgowrie and Eastern Perthshire area. The project is a pilot scheme and is also about assisting local businesses and raising the profile of the area for locals and visitors alike. Also in attendance will be the Blairgowrie and Eastern Perthshire Tourist Association, which is working to attract visitors to the area for short breaks, a project made possible with a VisitScotland Growth Fund award.
Mr Mather said:
"This year we are promoting Scotland to visitors from across the world as a very special place for those who want to sample wonderful, fresh, food and drink and classic Scottish hospitality.
"And in Perthshire we have some of the very best produce Scotland has to offer, including superb quality red meat, game and berries.
"The LovetoEat2010 project is helping promote that rich variety of produce and connect local residents with the food and drink the area produces. It is a great idea and I look forward to seeing and hearing how it is working firsthand.
"Before that I will be holding an engagement session with tourism stakeholders from across the area. In particular, I am keen to hear about the developing work of the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for Highland Perthshire, which is developing a new Highland Perthshire brand and focusing on stimulating business growth and attract new inward investment opportunities to boost the local tourism economy."
Perth and Kinross Council Leader, Councillor Ian Miller said:
"Perth & Kinross Council is a partner in the new Destination Management Organisation for Highland Perthshire, so I am delighted that the Minister is visiting Birnam, not only to look at this new approach to tourism development but also to encourage discussion about the way forward for what is a crucial sector in our local economy. The DMO is designed to drive forward development of tourism initiatives and promote business growth and at an financially difficult time we need to innovate to ensure economic wellbeing in the long-term."