Seafood industry to fish for tourists

SEAFOOD Scotland, the trade body for the Scottish seafood industry, has teamed with VisitScotland to launch a mentoring programme that will help seafood businesses branch into tourism.

The Beyond the Boat initiative will include a six-week series of webinars giving advice on subjects including creating a tourism experience, raising funds, legal advice and media relations. There will also be case studies from businesses that have already successfully introduced a tourism facet to their operation.

Karen Galloway of Seafood Scotland said the initiative was inspired by the way businesses across Scotland were able to pivot during the pandemic, as well as examples from elsewhere in the UK and overseas.

“We looked for inspiration at successful food tourism businesses across the UK and overseas, such as the Viking Sushi Adventure Voyage in Iceland,” said Galloway.

“Closer to home, we’ve seen the agritourism sector enjoy a huge boost during the pandemic and we’d love to replicate the success of this by continuing to build a network of seafood tourism businesses around the country.”

Vicki Miller of VisitScotland said visitors to the country “seek to make a real connection with the places they visit and are increasingly interested in the provenance of the food and drink which make up those experiences”.

“Scotland’s reputation for seafood, as part of its world-renowned natural larder, means there are fantastic opportunities for businesses to tell their stories to help to attract locals and visitors,” she said.

“Loch Fyne Oysters and The Tobermory Fish Company are great examples of businesses which not only offer quality visitor experiences but do so whilst telling their own story.

“By working in partnership with Seafood Scotland we can strength Scotland’s tourism offering in the seafood sector while in turn supporting local businesses and communities.”