Food is vital to the Northern Ireland tourism offering, and is as important as accommodation, culture and scenery for those wishing to immerse themselves in the Northern Ireland experience.
Recent research indicates that the Northern Ireland food tourism is now worth £350 million annually to the local economy.
Artisan foods in particular may be considered as a niche within the wider food sector but these products present opportunities to showcase local ingredients and specialities and present gift opportunities for tourists. The Northern Ireland speciality food market was estimated to be £132 million in 2011 and is predicted to reach £168 million by 2016.
If your business depends on selling, producing or serving food, the opportunities within the tourism industry are vital to consider. This includes eating establishments, pubs, to open farms, food producers, cookery schools, food festivals, food and farmer’s markets, and other key operators in the local agri-food industry.
For more information on taking advantage of food tourism opportunities, including the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016, see food tourism opportunities.