VisitScotland reacts to visitor buying stats

Malcolm Roughead, the chief executive of VisitScotland, has been talking-up the nation's "delicious shortbreads and tasty tablet".

It comes in the wake of recent VisitBritain and Office for National Statistics (ONS) research finding that people from overseas visiting the UK have a bigger likelihood of purchasing drink and food from Scotland than other locations in this part of the work.

Some 40 per cent of such visitors taking a trip to Scotland pick up something to eat or drink to take back home when they leave. The second biggest region for this was England's North East, where 32 per cent of visitors do the same.

And Scotland also got the title of the place where visitors most often buy souvenirs, compared to other UK locations: 22 per cent of visitors from overseas do this north of the border. Another finding was that 43 per cent buy shoes or clothes in Scotland.

Each year, VisitBritain provides additional questions for the International Passenger Survey carried out by ONS – so that the tourism organisation can gain an improved understanding of Britain's visitors.

According to VisitScotland Information Centre employees, whisky, whisky fudge, Edinburgh rock, shortbread and tablet are among the popular things to eat and drink for tourists to spend on in Scotland.

The famed orange fizzy drink Irn-Bru, haggis and Scottish preserves were among the other things mentioned by staff as being especially popular.

Next year will be Scotland's Year of Food and Drink. The sector brings in £13 billion annually north of the border, and it's hoped that this will increase to £16.5 billion by the year 2017.

Reacting to the VisitBritain/ONS stats, Malcolm Roughead said: "This country is […] leading the way in the UK for overseas visitors purchasing our wonderful food, drink and high quality souvenirs."

He added that, in Scotland: "wherever visitors are, they can find a wide range of delicious local flavours and souvenirs to purchase and take home as a reminder of their visit."

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency to help source hospitality recruitment jobs.