15 firms join festivities

Scotland is guest of honour at Christmas market

Malcolm RougheadFifteen Scottish tourism businesses have been invited to showcase everything from homemade fudge to pottery, cheese to jewellery after Scotland was welcomed as ‘guest of honour’ at one of France’s biggest Christmas markets.

Every year, a German-style Christmas market is held in Montbéliard, a town situated in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France.

It is one of the top three largest Christmas markets in France and is attended by around 400,000 visitors from across Europe.

Each year the Montbéliard Council names a country as its ‘guest of honour’ and this year Scotland has been bestowed the honour in celebration of Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015. A contingent of Scottish businesses, supported by VisitScotland, will represent Scotland. Tourism materials supplied by the national tourism organisation will also be on display at the market.

Businesses from the honoured country get prime positioning during the market which runs from 28 November to 24 December.

The 15 Scottish businesses exhibiting are:

          Creations – Tartan Bodices, Ross-shire

          Lys and Rose, Edinburgh

          The Green Deer, Edinburgh

          Buchlyvie Pottery Shop, Buchlyvie, Stirlingshire

          We are Rushworth, Auchencrow, Berwickshire

          Wild Rose Escapes, Beauly, Inverness-shire

          Build Rwanda, Edinburgh

          Wooha Brewing, Nairn

          Strathearn Distillery, Perthshire

          Ardshealach, Acharacle, Argyll

          Lovsushi, Bankfoot, Perthshire

          Highland Hog Roast, Cannich, Inverness-shire

          The Damn Cheese Company, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire

          Kilted Fudge Company, Aviemore, Inverness-shire

          Alainn Tours

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said:  “The Montbéliard Christmas market is a fantastic platform to showcase the quality and diversity of Scotland’s food and drink industry, hand-crafted retail sector and accommodation and tour providers.

“That Scotland should be honoured at this prestigious event goes to prove our reputation for quality local produce is growing across the world and it is fitting that the country should be recognised in this way at the end of the Year of Food and Drink 2015.

“Food is an integral part of the visitor experience with visitors to Scotland willing to pay up to 15% more for food that is of Scottish or regional origin. We hope visitors to the market will get a taste for Scotland and be inspired to make the journey to the origin of their bounty.”

Fiona Richmond, Scotland food & drink project manager, said: “Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing sector with a value in excess of £14bn a year and more than £2.5m per day generated to the Scottish economy through food and drink tourism.

“Scotland has a growing and deserving reputation as a Land of Food and Drink thanks to the world-class quality of our larder. It is fitting that Scotland is Montbeliard’s guest of honour during the Year of Food and Drink and I’m confident that visitors will enjoy the Scottish produce served in the run up to Christmas.”

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