Four favourite drinking places in trade sign-up
Press & Journal: By Rita Campbell
Four Inverness-shire venues are among the first to join a new quality scheme designed to highlight and promote good bars, pubs and inns across Scotland.
The Best Bars scheme is part of a new partnership, which is placing Scotland’s pubs and bars at the heart of the tourism industry.
VisitScotland and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) have joined forces to drive up standards and encourage even more visitors to enjoy Scotland’s establishments.
Other city businesses which have received the “Best Bars” accolade are Johnny Foxes and Clachnaharry Inn.
The scheme, which has been developed in partnership with the industry including several SLTA members, sees bars being assessed through an incognito visit by one of VisitScotland’s quality advisors. The assessment looks at factors from ambience and service to how the business encourages responsible drinking
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland’s licensed trade plays a crucial part of our tourism offering. Tourism brings a revenue of £4billion and supports 200,000 jobs. One pound in every £5 spent by a visitor in Scotland is on food and drink-related activities, therefore, it makes sense that the two industries work closely together.”
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland’s regional director for the Highlands, said: “Pubs and bars are very important for visitors and it is fantastic to see these local businesses among the first to be recognised by the Best Bars scheme. Locally sourced food, knowledgeable staff and a focus on providing a friendly and welcoming atmosphere all make a difference to a visitor’s experience.
“Already one-fifth of the amount that visitors spend in Scotland is on food and drink and there is real potential for us to increase that.
“Our partnership with SLTA is a major step towards driving up standards even further and encouraging more visitors to enjoy our highest-quality pubs and bars.”
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