Minister for Tourism and Sport Patrick O'Donovan has launched the Irish Whiskey Association's Midlands/East Regional Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy on behalf of the Irish government, with the aim to treble the annual number of tourists visiting Ireland for whiskey over the next 8 years.
O'Donovan declared that when this target is achieved, it "will deliver €1.3 billion to rural and urban centres all over Ireland every year and create hundreds of jobs", adding that he believes the strategy provides "the opportunity to create a world-class tourism offering that encourages high-spending international tourists to spend time in distillery towns all around the island."
Head of the Irish Whiskey Association Miriam Mooney stated that "Irish distilleries are positioning themselves as key tourist attractions" and notes that the number of whiskey tourists per year could surpass 158,000 after visitor centers are opened at the distilleries in Boann and Slane.
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According to The Meath Chronicle, the tremendous growth in Irish whiskey tourism will allow distilleries in Meath and the Midlands to facilitate 286 jobs with many more employment opportunities arising in the hospitality sector as a result.