Guest Blog from our partner, Hidden Britain

How getting tourists to go native can help local food producers

To help more people find local food we have supplied our local food map and MarketPlace to Hidden Britain. Here is their view on tourists enjoying local food;

In the UK domestic tourists spend around £56 for each night away from home. This expenditure includes souvenirs, hotel rooms and obviously food. Travelling often leads to a rumbling tummy, and there can be no better cure than some fresh local produce. HIDDEN BRITAIN logo

Tourists have access to all aspects of the local produce supply chain. To reap the rewards you need to make sure visitors know they have a local produce option whenever they need one. Hidden Britain has been working with rural communities to help them share what they love about where they live, and we know food is something everyone can enjoy.

Consider what it is to be a visitor; even someone simply stopping off to fill up at the pump, or waiting on the train platform could be tempted to go local if the right temptations are available. So what is suitable as a locally produced grab-able snack? A flap jack, a bottle of freshly pressed juice, fruit, sweets, the list is only limited by what people can produce. The key is making sure it’s available at the point of need.

Family Farm Shop

Family Farm Shop

That is just one opportunity, and because tourists are actively seeking out the experiences on offer, they are easy to target. Serving local food with a story on restaurant menus is another fantastic way to encourage tourists to engage with your destination. Better still, if tourists are interested, tell them where they can go and get more, it might just turn out to be their new favourite ingredient.

Some of the locations we have worked with have done the full Monty on their local produce, offering tours of the vineyards, tasting sessions and even developing a local cookery book.

From a visitor’s perspective this is an easy and exciting day out, they can be guided through the process and feel involved in the local produce cycle. The producer has a chance to educate the tourist about their goods, and you can finish up with a try before you buy session – this goes down very well where local wines, ciders or brews are involved!

Focussing some of your promotional efforts on tourism doesn’t exclude your local community. They will also benefit from having easier access to local food options. So here is a little summary of our top tips for getting tourists to buy local:

mrs-jane-kallaway-and-lambs-one Make sure a local option is readily available
Provide interesting information about the produce and where else it can be sought
Turn your produce into an experience by thinking about all the aspects of its production

Hidden Britain is a charity dedicated to uncovering the fascinating wealth of landscapes, history and culture within Britain’s countryside for everyone to enjoy. We do this by bringing together businesses, residents, community groups and local authorities who want to establish themselves as great visitor destinations and enjoy the social and economic rewards that rural tourism can create.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Just to let you know the link in the first paragraph doesn’t appear to be working. Very interesting piece.


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