A new tourism business which will literally put Scotland’s gin industry on the map has been launched.
And Ginspired Scotland is predicting that the growth in gin tourism could mean at least a £6 million boom for the industry.
The brainchild of Liz Robson, ginspiredscotland.com is an independent website which shows all of Scotland’s gins in one place and helps people create their own gin tour and provides suggested itineraries.
Liz, whose background is in the whisky industry, explained: ‘I watched the rise and geographical spread of Scotland’s gin makers from the sidelines while still working for one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers and then when I got a redundancy offer, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
‘With 20 years knowledge working in the whisky industry and crafting brand experiences for people from all over the world, I could see the potential for gin too. I have spent the last two years talking to gin producers, industry professionals and refining my ideas and I am delighted to say that Ginspired Scotland has now been launched.’
According to VisitScotland, whisky tourism has grown 56 per cent since 2010 and Liz who lives near Aberlour in the heart of whisky country sees no reason why the gin producers can’t have a slice of the action too.
‘Scotland’s tourism growth is strong and sustained,’ explained Liz, ‘whisky tourism growth is even stronger and now gin is exciting people from all over the world. Figures show that 20 per cent of overseas visitors go to whisky distillery, if just 10 per cent of them went to a gin experience as well, it would be worth over £6m to the industry.’
She added: ‘This is a really exciting tourism opportunity for Scotland. Thanks to our country’s great heritage in whisky distilling, we can authentically claim world-beating quality gin making too.
‘However, whilst there has been a huge boom, with over 90 gins now located in Scotland, finding each of them can be tricky. They are often small, family businesses who don’t have big marketing budgets and are often geographically spread across the country in remote locations. This is where the website comes in having everything listed in one easy place.’
The free website offers a ‘Gincyclopedia gin map’ and ‘G&Tineraries’. As well as listing the gins, it also recommends a network of nearby places to stay, eat and drink which stock the local gins, and includes route planners and maps which can be downloaded and shared.
Liz said: ‘It’s really a one-stop destination for gin lovers who want an easy way to find gin distilleries across Scotland. I want to create a visible presence for Scottish gin within the Scottish tourism industry and I am thrilled that through my two years of research, the gin industry is on board with the idea.’
Stephen Kemp, owner and founder of Orkney-based Kirkjuvagr Distillery said: ‘A major component of our business in terms of growth and brand awareness is tourism, and so it is essential to have suitable partners. Ginspired is unique, as they have a focus on both Scottish Gin and Scottish Tourism, which directly aligns with our business operation and aspirations.’
Martin Murray, owner and founder of Dunnet Bay Distillery which produces Rock Rose Gin added: ‘Ginspired is a great concept and has the potential to really promote gin tourism. We’ve seen a rise in the number of visitors doing gin distillery trips and the Ginspired site and resources provide all the answers in blending gin and tourism. An excellent idea that will benefit Scottish gin distilleries.’