‘DRAMFEST’ BOOKINGS PROVE WORLDWIDE POPULARITY OF SPEYSIDE WHISKIES – Scotch Whisky News

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‘DRAMFEST’ BOOKINGS PROVE WORLDWIDE POPULARITY OF SPEYSIDE WHISKIES

Whisky fans around the world have been putting their money where their favourite dram is and snapping up tickets for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in their thousands since this year’s programme was announced on 14th January.

Whisky enthusiasts from nearly 100 countries worldwide have already checked out the Festival website, with 20 different nationalities taking advantage of the online booking system to ensure they have a ticket for their favourite event. Topping the ticket sales for this year’s Festival, which runs from 28th April 2nd May, are whisky fanatics from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Advance ticket sales show a 15% increase on this time last year exceeding a value of £50,000 and representing a welcome low season boost to Speyside, Moray and the wider Scottish economy.

More than 40 of over 200 events, which cater for whisky lovers as well as their friends and family, have already sold out. Specialist whisky events and tours have proved the most popular, particularly visits to distilleries not normally open to the public such as Mortlach, Auchroisk, Dailuaine, Glendronach. Also sold out are tours around the Seven Stills of Dufftown and the Five Stills of Elgin, as well as some of the unique train tours to Strathisla Distillery and several of the whisky and food pairing events.

The five day ‘dramfest’, now in its twelfth year, is one of Europe’s largest whisky festivals. It annually attracts around 26,000 visits to events generating around £750,000 for the local economy, with tourists arriving from both home and abroad.

This year’s programme also features a selection of new events. Whisky lovers can become a Benromach Warehouseman for the day, take part in Food and Whisky Tours, try their hand at whisky themed craft taster sessions and choose from a selection of traditional musical events and ceilidhs.

Organisers are delighted at the response to this year’s Festival so far. Chairman Jim Royan extended a warm welcome to all visitors who plan to include the Festival in their travel plans this year, with a special invitation to Scots around the country from the Borders, to the Central Belt to the Highlands to come and experience the region and its world famous product during the Festival.

“The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival highlights the rich variety of landscapes, history and leisure opportunities that the area has to offer. It’s the blend of whisky, music, food and fun that guarantees Festival visitors are immersed in the culture of Whisky Country and experience the true taste of the Speyside spirit of hospitality.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “As supporters of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, EventScotland are delighted to see that the festival continues to attract large numbers of visitors from such a diverse range of countries.

“The event, which is amongst Europe’s largest and most-recognised whisky festivals, continues to seek out inspiring and innovative ways to showcase the very best of Scottish food and drink. Set against Moray’s picturesque landscapes and featuring events at some of the world’s most renowned distilleries, it’s a fantastic example of why Scotland is the perfect stage for the best food and drink events”

Notes:

- Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2011 runs from Thursday, 28th April-Monday, 2nd May.

www.spiritofspeyside.com- Speyside is easily accessible by rail or air, including a number of low-cost airline options to Aberdeen and Inverness airport

- The Festival runs a subsidised dial-a-bus service and taxi voucher scheme

- The Festival also runs several competitions and awards including a Whisky Cocktail Competition, Photographic Competition and the prestigious Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards

- Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2011 has received funding from EventScotland and is also financially supported by many other private and public partners

- EventScotland is the national events agency. EventScotland is working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit

www.EventScotland.org

- The Year of Active Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative being delivered by EventScotland and VisitScotland which began on the 1st January 2011. For more information go to

www.eventscotland.org/activescotland- A series of focus years running from 2010 to 2013 will ensure co-ordinated national activity that will spotlight some of Scotland’s great assets as we journey towards 2014. The four focus years are centred on domestic and international tourism and the development of the events industry in Scotland. These focus years will celebrate our reputation as a land food and drink, as an active nation, as a place of culture and creativity and as a place of natural beauty.

- EventScotland in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland is delivering Event Team Scotland, a new web – based portal which matches volunteers across Scotland with exciting sporting and cultural events. For more information please visit

www.eventteamscotland.com

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