According to the Irish Whiskey Association, a record 1.02 million people visited Irish distilleries last year. This number was a 10.5% increase on the figure for the previous year.
Additionally, the number of distilleries across the island of Ireland that have visitor centres has risen from 13 to 17 over the past year.
American, Canadian And British Visitors
The Irish Whiskey Association noted that while American and Canadian residents accounted for more than a third of the total amount of people who visited distilleries last year, the number of American and Canadian visitors decreased by 8% from the figure for 2018.
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
Meanwhile, the number of British visitors to distilleries declined by 2%.
The Irish Independent quotes head of the Irish Whiskey Association at Drinks Ireland William Lavelle as saying, "Recognising the disappointing fall-off in visitors from North America, we will be seeking to prioritise our promotional activities in the US and Canada, working closely with our state tourism agencies.
"We will also continue to keep a close eye on the impact of Brexit on tourism figures."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.