Tourism NI awards food tour five stars

Tourism NI has awarded Taste & Tour NI a five-star grading for the ‘Belfast Food Tour’, one of a range of tours offered by the company.

As part of the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink legacy, the Belfast Food Tour experience is the first food tour to be graded and has been awarded a five-star visitor attraction rating, signifying that the attraction is operating to an outstanding level.

The five-star accreditation was awarded under the Tourism NI quality grading scheme designed to provide visitors with quality information on Northern Ireland’s tourist attractions.
To achieve a star-rating, experiences are subject to an unannounced mystery assessment from a Tourism NI Quality Grading Advisor and are assessed in up to six categories.

Congratulating the staff on their achievement, John McGrillen, Chief Executive Tourism Northern Ireland said: “As the Year of Food and Drink enters its final two months, it’s great to see our industry taking the lead on exciting initiatives such as this, that will help build a legacy for culinary tourism.

“Food and drink experiences have become increasingly important to tourism as they offer destinations an opportunity to differentiate and celebrate indigenous foods. Within the four-hour walking Belfast Food Tour, visitors have over twenty opportunities to experience and sample our local produce, and are involved in talks and demonstrations from local artisans and producers, encouraging sales and repeat usage.”
A popular tour with international and national visitors the four-hour walking tour has attracted over 2,000 visitors this year.

Caroline Wilson, founder of Belfast Food Tour commented “We are all completely delighted to have received the five star ‘outstanding’ rating for ’Taste and Tour’. Whilst the tour has been in existence for almost three years, it was thanks to the Year of Food and Drink that I had the confidence to leave my 15-year legal career to work on the Belfast Food Tour full time. This confidence grew and with my new business partner, Phil Ervine, and we have launched Taste and Tour NI which incorporates the Belfast Food Tour and a number of other tours including our newly launched Whiskey Walk.

“As the first Tourism NI quality assessed five-star food tour in Northern Ireland, it really shows us that we are not only getting things right, but we are up there with the best attractions in Northern Ireland. We have worked really hard this year to ensure that we deliver our tours with the visitor journey at its heart and that work has been recognised by this ‘outstanding’ grading.

“Whilst we started with only a few locals, customers are now coming from all over the world as well as a lot of local businesses looking for a new experience, it’s wonderful to witness the interest in Northern Ireland produce continue to grow. “

For further information of Tourism NI’s quality grading scheme please visit
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