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Over Half of Tourists Visit Ireland For the Pubs

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Over Half of Tourists Visit Ireland For the Pubs

Over Half of Tourists Visit Ireland For the Pubs
August 26
09:52 2015

Over half of tourists come to Ireland for the pubs, according to the results of a new survey carried out for ‘Support Your Local’, a campaign that aims to cut excise tax on alcoholic drinks and protect some 92,000 jobs in the industry. The survey, carried out by iReach, sampled 500 tourists from the UK, Canada, USA, Germany and France, with 100 from each country.

It found that 54% of tourists ranked the pub as the factor that most influenced their decision to visit Ireland. The pub was second only to Dublin’s heritage and culture which influenced 57% of visitors. Just over half of visitors, or 51%, cited Irish castles as the biggest attraction.

When asked what word came to mind when they thought about Irish people, 25% said ‘friendly’ and 18% said ‘beer and whiskey’ and 12% said ‘fun’. Almost one in five, or 19%, said ‘green grass and countryside’; and culture and tradition, ancient history, weather and accents were all cited in single-digit numbers.

Over three-fifths of visitors, or 61%, said it is the people who differentiate Ireland from other holiday destinations. Almost nine out of 10 tourists agreed that Irish people enhance their holiday experience; demonstrating the important role that the Irish pub plays as part of our tourist offer, as a focal point for tourists to interact with Irish people, and experience the ‘craic agus ceol’.

Noreen O’Sullivan, a publican in Tipperary and President of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, says the survey was an important insight into some of the supply-side drivers for Irish tourism. “The survey reinforces the centrality of the Irish pub to Ireland’s tourism product. We score highly in our reputation for drinks products and friendly character – and both of these intersect in the Irish pub which is revealed as the second-biggest draw for visitors to Ireland.”

She has called for a phased unwinding of the excise increases on alcohol as the economy recovers and Government revenues improve.

“As it stands, excise is around 31% on beer, 68% on whiskey, and 64% on wine. These taxes are damaging our competitiveness and costing jobs,” she points out.

The survey found that almost six in 10 tourists, or 57%, are likely to visit Irish pubs and restaurants in both urban and rural areas. Tourists from Germany and France show stronger preferences for cities, with UK visitors more likely to opt for rural pubs, according to the survey.

Bart Storan, who runs the ‘Support Your Local’ campaign, says the pub is a distinctive feature of the Irish holiday experience: “Ireland has some 7,300 pubs, each of them playing a key role in supporting a vibrant €6 billion tourism industry. Our pubs and hospitality are renowned globally as part of the Irish character and experience. In every city, town and village, pubs are part of the unique fabric of the community, supporting jobs, catalysing spending, and sharing our story around the world.”

The survey was conducted independently by iReach Insights, a leading market research firm, in Ireland during the period July 8 to 16, 2015, of recent tourists and those planning to visit Ireland. The number of responses was 500. This research has a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of 4%.

Annually, the Irish drinks sector generates over €2 billion in excise and VAT receipts, makes over €1 billion in purchases, and accounts for exports of more than €1.2 billion. It supports some 92,000 jobs in rural and urban communities. Ireland’s high-quality drinks brands are recognised globally. In recent years, emerging parts of the drinks sector such as Irish whiskey and craft beer have been scaling, with the potential to rapidly expand market share over the coming decade and more.

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