Scotland has been hailed as a world leader for its food and drink by a global study that put it ahead of eight other destinations, including Louisiana, South Africa, Belgium, Ontario, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and South Korea.
The first worldwide study by the International Culinary Tourism Association rated countries on the quality of their natural produce, the growth of their culinary tourism, and the way they promoted their food.
It concluded that Scotland was one of the most "unique, memorable and interesting" places for food and drink on the planet.
It rated Scotland highly for its high-quality agricultural and seafood produce; its whiskies, soups, jams and cheeses; its initiatives to improve quality; and its food and drink events.
According to VisitScotland, food and drink accounts for 21% of tourist spend in the country.
Scotland's food and drink industry is about to benefit from a 12-month campaign aimed at boosting its value by more than a third to £12.5b by 2017.
By Angela Frewin
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