Scotland’s agritourism sector is celebrating after winning a bid to host the World Agritourism Conference in 2026. The announcement was made in Bolzano, Italy on Friday 17th May, at a gathering of world leaders in agritourism, who represent the recently formed Global Agritourism Network.

The international conference in 2026 will showcase the diversity and growth of Scotland’s agritourism sector on a world stage and it is expected that up to one thousand delegates will attend. The main conference will take place at the P&J Live, on the edge of Aberdeen, from 23rd to 25th June, with a pre-conference programme in the Edinburgh area to include a visit to the Royal Highland Show. A range of Scottish cultural activities will be offered throughout the programme along with the opportunity to enjoy the best of Scotland’s farm and fishing produce during every meal.

Pre and post conference tours ranging from one to ten days in length have been developed which will welcome delegates on to farms and crofts in every part of Scotland from Orkney to Dumfries and Galloway. One hundred free scholarship places will be made available for visitors from developing countries to attend the conference with Scottish farmers opening their homes to host scholars post conference.

Lisa Chase, Chair of the Global Agritourism Network, commented; “Scotland demonstrated many features to deliver an extremely strong bid including a key focus on showcasing food and drink from agritourism farms, both on farm and throughout the conference menus. The review team felt delegates would be interested in learning about the diversity of quality agritourism businesses on offer, Scotland’s connected agritourism network, the 2030 national strategy and growth ambition, and monitor farms programme. The offer of agritourism businesses to showcase Scottish hospitality and to open their doors throughout all of Scotland during the pre and post tours as well as the offer to support one hundred scholars to attend and be hosted on farms made the bid very compelling.”

Chris Foy, CEO of VisitAberdeenshire, added: "We look forward to welcoming delegates to Aberdeen in 2026 and to working with Scottish Agritourism to make this event a success for Scotland. Agritourism is an area where the North-east already excels, and hosting this global convention can be a catalyst for further growth and innovation within our tourism sector."

Caroline Millar, Sector Lead for agritourism in Scotland, said; “When our sector and public agencies developed the national strategy for Agritourism three years ago, we included a focus on building international networks and playing a leadership role globally as one of the actions. Hosting a World Agritourism Conference prior to 2030 is what we would have called a ‘big audacious goal’ and so we are over the moon to bring the conference to Scotland in 2026 and to share our country’s quality agritourism offering with a global audience.”

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, said; “I am absolutely delighted that Scotland’s bid to host the 2026 Global Agritourism Conference has been successful and offer my huge congratulations to Caroline Millar and the team at Scottish Agritourism for all of their hard work in bringing together the winning bid.

“Showcasing Scotland’s amazing agritourism offer to international delegates plays a huge part in ensuring we continue to build a long-term, sustainable sector delivering a high quality, authentic visitor experiences with agriculture and food and drink at its heart.

“In turn, positioning Scotland as a key player in the global agritourism sector, helps to sustain the future of family farming in Scotland by supporting our rural economy.”

Vicki Miller, VisitScotland Director of Marketing and Digital and member of Scotland’s National Agritourism Strategy Board, said: “This exciting news marks an important milestone in Scotland’s growing reputation as an agritourism destination. We’ve been working closely with businesses to help develop and market those unique and authentic experiences we know visitors are seeking and that many of our country’s farms and crofts are perfectly placed to offer.

“This conference will now help showcase that work to delegates across the world, creating opportunities to share learnings while allowing attendees to enjoy Scotland’s famous hospitality, delicious farm produce and unmissable agritourism offering.”

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