Recent STEAM figures reported that £429m was spent by visitors to Cumbria on food and drink in 2011, food and drink represented the highest spend of any other tourism activity in the county – even accommodation.
Taste Cumbria recently commissioned a groundbreaking piece of Food Tourism research, which will be revealed at a conference held at Dovenby Hall on Friday 28th September in advance of the Taste Cumbria Food Festival in Cockermouth.
Food Tourism Manager, Mary Houston, says, “The research confirms what we’ve always known, food, drink and agriculture in Cumbria are vital to our visitor economy, and the demands of our visitors need to be better understood and supported.”
Food Tourism in the UK is definitely on the rise - the report, prepared by Red Research, states that £21.1 billion pounds was spent on eating and drinking on day trips alone in Britain, 41% of the total expenditure of the day out.
Food Tourists are likely to spend more in the region, average spend on a day trip in Cumbria was reported at £33, rising to £42 where the main activity was going out for a meal.
Mary Houston adds, “Our research indicates that food tourism in Cumbria is worth £2.2 billion annually and supports 56,000 jobs in the region. The Lake District tops the list of foodie destinations, followed closely by London and Yorkshire. Clearly, food is fast becoming a main driver for tourism in the region, and this is something we need to capitalise on.”
The conference will feature a key note speech from James Rebanks, Hill Farmer & Rural Campaigner followed by a “Question Time” panel discussion.
Panellists include Observer Food Critic Jay Rayner, CEO of Slow Food UK Cat Gazzoli, and CEO of Natural England Poul Christensen, and the Hill Farmer broadcaster Eric Robson, who is also the Chairman of Cumbria Tourism.
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