The islands' new Destination Management Plan (DMP) has suggested that Scilly should become known as the 'seafood islands'.
The Plan, which was developed by the Islands' Partnership and supported by all of the islands’ major stakeholders, sets out a new vision and a shared approach to help revitalise the islands’ tourism industry.
The document reads: “The food and drink offer on the islands is good overall, and in places it is excellent. Improvements can always be found, as can ways to showcase and promote the offer. Individual restaurants – from the Star Castle Hotel on St Mary’s to Bryher’s Crab Shack – join together through the Taste of Scilly campaign, festivals and other promotions."
The DMP points out that the rest of the UK is also very busy building its own food tourism propositions, with recognition that quality and brand in seafood now a very competitive marketplace.
It describes the Taste of Scilly Festival as "exactly the kind of product innovation, with a distinctive Scillonian delivery, that can make its mark in the minds and on the palettes of prospective visitors".
The Plan explains that "a festival model can evolve in a number of interesting directions", saying: "One such option is the popup, and a high-profile recent example is Jamie (Oliver) & Jimmy (Doherty)’s pop-up café on Southend Pier. This is tied into a Channel4 TV Friday Night Feast series, which of course helps. Celebrity guests are augmented by audience members/diners who apply for places. The mix of food, location and celebrity is one that Scilly could take and give its own twist on, with or without the TV cameras."
The DMP also suggests devleoping a ‘signature’ fish presence that has a national profile, "possibly through festival/seasonal/pop-up interventions before considering a permanent ‘signature’ restaurant".
It adds: "As well as enhancing the islands’ destination appeal as the ‘Seafood Islands’, this would also reflect the islands’ longstanding maritime heritage, and reinforce a core element of the brand narrative."