Ireland’s brewery and distillery visitor centres are now attracting millions of tourists every year, with the latest figures from the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) showing that there were 2,590,215 visitors to the brewery and distillery tourist attractions in Ireland in 2017, up 6% from 2,437,206 in 2016.
The ABFI said that it expects this figure to increase again in 2018. Brewery and distillery visitor centres have reported a strong summer to date for 2018. There is also a number of planned new visitor centres set to open in 2018 and beyond. For example, there are 13 whiskey distillery visitor centres in the planning or development stage at the moment.
ABFI director Patricia Callan commented, “In Ireland there has been an influx of new players to the drinks market over the past few years, increasing innovation and diversity in the sector. Many of these players are offering visitor centres experiences that showcase our long history in brewing and distilling. This is in addition to some of the more established visitor centres like the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery Bow Street, which are hugely popular.
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“What’s really positive about these brewery and distillery visitor centres is that they are located right across the country, so they support the regional spread of tourism. It’s also promising to see that there are so many new visitor centres in the planning or development stage, indicating a strong future for the sector.”
Ireland’s brewery and distillery visitor centres are important for Ireland’s broader tourism strategy, as highlighted in Fáilte Ireland’s Food & Drinks Strategy 2018-2023. In it, Fáilte Ireland states that as “we seek to grow the value of Irish tourism over the next 10 years, Ireland’s food and drink offering has a significant role to play in delivering great visitor experiences, increasing dwell time around the country and growing spend.”
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.