Apart from the Budget, two topics seemed to dominate the industry as we went to press this month: the importance of the Irish pub to the tourism drive and what will happen to the industry’s main import/export route when Brexit’s dust has finally settled.
So we thought it might be of interest to talk to Tourism Ireland’s Niall Gibbons on his take on tourism and the pub in our Talking Trade this month.
The importance of the Irish pub to tourism has now been widely acknowledged (even by those who heretofore would not see), backed up by plenty of research, not least a recent VFI survey of 1,000 people in Ireland and another 500 abroad.
This found (among other attractive aspects to the Irish pub) that 52% of respondents – 60% of females and 47% of males – visit the pub at least once a week. Nearly 18% do so two or three times a week. Indeed 62% think the pub plays a very important role in the local community.
To add to all this, the Irish pub has access to some supremely fine product including a range of craft Irish whiskeys and beers. For any pub not to have such a range today is like listening to Santana without the bongos.
Is it any wonder, then, that this year’s Finalists demonstrate such high levels of competence in their chosen categories in this inaugural 2017 Irish Pub Awards, backed for the first time by both the LVA and VFI? See who’s won what & where so far in this month’s issue.
As we went to press, then, not only were the Irish pub Awards contenders limbering up in the wings for the Gala Final on November 8th, they were being elbowed aside by the similarly eager Irish Whiskey Awards contenders whose big day arrived somewhat sooner – on the 19th October.
And as trade media partner to both awards, we’d like to wish everyone an Awards Night never to forget and – let’s be drinkaware here – a following morning that doesn’t have some waking up with a brain like a pickled walnut.