Food and Drink Tourism is a growing and substantial portion of Wales’ growing tourism revenue. Recent new forms of private and rarer examples of social innovation have succeeded in increasing the numbers and range of new gastronomic offers in a period which is also characterised by both rising food insecurity and uncertain funding futures. Exemplar empirical case studies from across rural food and drink tourism based in Wales from ‘pot to plate’ and across geographical catchments and places or from ‘coast to summit’ are used to illustrate these trends.
Several themes are explored from detailed consideration of these enterprises which exist within an unique Welsh sustainable development legislative context for future well-being
• equitable access to funding for authentic place based products and experiences through which local value chains may address the historical challenges of rural communities in Wales.
• continued supply of authentic new and novel food and drink experiences from Wales from very dispersed and small scale producers through localised supply chains.
• responsibly maximisation of the value of the opportunities food tourism development offers to farms families and the wider rural economy through local markets and visitor expectations and experiences in the absence of future EU rural development support.
The promotion of food and drink based costal and rural tourism by Welsh Government as a means of building rural resilience and wellbeing makes the findings of this independent research especially pertinent.