Boost to food and drink tourism in Dumfries and Galloway
Scotland's Year of Food and Drink could bring huge benefits to the tourism sector in Dumfries and Galloway, it has been claimed.
VisitScotland's regional director Paula MacDonald said the themed year would help "galvanise" the industry.
It follows the Year of Homecoming 2014, which included the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.
About £2.5m is spent on food and drink tourism in Scotland every day.
Ms MacDonald said the region was well placed to capitalise on what was a lucrative element of tourist spending.
She added: "We have a plethora of individual producers, artisan bakers, breweries and farm shops, and the produce that's supplied and used in this area gives a really authentic sense of where the visitors are.
"We really feel strongly that the Year of Food and Drink can be a great year for Dumfries and Galloway."