Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink Economic Impact Report


Ballantrae’s Festival of Food & Drink (BFFD) held on 8 & 9 June 2019 to celebrate and showcase local produce and the coastal heritage of Ballantrae, attracted almost 3,000 visitors resulting in a net additional economic impact on the economy approaching £150K.

In an independent survey commissioned by the organisers - The Ballantrae Trust - the survey revealed:

93% of respondents said that the Festival was ‘Very Enjoyable’ (67.6%) or “Enjoyable” (25.7%) and 71% of respondents were interested in receiving information about future events.

34% of the respondents were from the Ballantrae area, 32% from elsewhere in Ayrshire, 29% from elsewhere in Scotland, 4% elsewhere in the UK and 4% from outside the UK (including France, the Channel Isles, the USA and Ireland).

81% of respondents were not staying away from home as part of their trip to the event. 9% were staying in self-catering accommodation, 8% were with friends or family while 2% were in a hotel or B&B. Of those staying away from home the average duration of their stay was 5.4 nights, suggesting there were a number of holiday makers in the area taking in the festival as part of their trip. The average party size was 3.2 people with some travelling in groups of up to 10 people. The average spend per visitor during the event was estimated to be around £31.73 (ranging from £1 to £130).

‘Word of Mouth’ was quoted as the most popular marketing source (45%), closely followed by ‘Facebook’ (44%). Other popular responses included ‘Leaflet’, ‘Roadside Banner’, ‘Local Newspaper or Magazine’ and ‘Poster’.

A survey of stallholders was also carried out.  82% of respondents said the event had a ‘Very Positive’ (53%) economic impact on their trading position and 29% claimed the impact to be ‘Positive’. 42% of the traders noted that this level of financial impact was better than that achieved at comparable events over the last two years.

30% of stallholders noted that their financial expectations were either ‘A lot better’ or ‘better’ than expected as a result of trading at the Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink.  71% felt that the village’s hosting of the BFFD encouraged them to think about new ways to develop or promote their business, product or service.

A range of other local businesses were also interviewed by The Trust as part of this assessment.  11 local businesses were willing and able to provide a supportive testimonial around the hosting of this year’s Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink.

We asked visitors to the festival where they lived
Map of non-Ayrshire visitors from the UK
We asked visitors where they had heard about the event
We asked whether visitors were staying overnight as part of their trip to the event
We asked what visitors thought of the event overall
We asked stallholders if the festival was better or worse than similar events they had attended in the last two years
We asked stallholders how their sales at the festival compared with their expectations

Overall, the fourth hosting of the Ballantrae Food and Drink Festival can be deemed a huge success. The economic impact is notable, approaching £150k for the first two-day event (previous Festivals were one day). Qualitative feedback from visitors, traders and local businesses was very positive and their detailed feedback will be used to develop the event further in future years.

Copies of the full report are available from or available to download here

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