In a study presented to VFI members at its AGM in Killarney earlier in the year some 2,500 traditional tourist pubs normally employ 12,000 seasonal staff every year.
However recent figures from the VFI suggest that some 17,000 seasonal staff have in fact been taken on to cope with the growth in seasonal custom from tourists, a growth of 42% on the traditional Summer season staffing figure for pubs outside Dublin.
The significant role of the pub in Irish tourism was one of the main themes of this year’s conference last May when VFI President Noreen O’Sullivan stated that, “Recent positive CSO figures show a 14% rise in visitor numbers for the first thee months of 2015 and we’re hopeful of a busy Summer in traditional tourist areas”.
She believed then that Summer 2015 would be the busiest tourist season Ireland had seen in a long time.
“The pub will be at the centre of this and there’s real potential for even more seasonal jobs to be created,” she predicted.
In fact a record three million overseas tourists have so far arrived on these shores to date and should the trend continue Ireland is set for a bumper year for tourism, its best yet.
The latest VFI figures were based on a survey of 120 traditional tourist pub members.
According to VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribbin, “There’s been a significant bump in seasonal employment solely attributed to the significant increase in overseas and domestic tourism numbers and the central role played by the pub in the tourism industry”.
The extra jobs were “real proof that that the tourism trade is well and truly back and highlights its importance to local economies”.
Padraig Cribben has also been vocal in calling for a reduction in excise duty in the forthcoming Budget to help keep the country attractive to tourists and help strengthen the tourist trade.
“The Irish pub is central to the tourism industry and overseas visitors come in their millions to experience the atmosphere of an Irish pub,” he stated, “They will continue to do so if the value remains. Now is the time to reduce excise to keep our tourist offering attractive and competitive.”