Having previously been voted the number one tourist destination by The Lonely Planet, the VFI is keen to outline the critical role the pub trade plays in Ireland’s tourism output and at the annual VFI Conference held in Westport’s Castlecourt Hotel, delegates heard that a recent survey of some 1,500 visitors to Ireland found that 83% of those surveyed had listened to live Irish music while 79% had tasted a Guinness.
The VFI is also confident of the contribution it has to make to the recently-launched Wild Atlantic Way.
“The economic benefit of the Irish pub is there for everyone to see,” VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben told the conference, “Accounting for over 50,000 jobs and contributing over €20 million in employment-related taxes alone is ample evidence of that.
“Furthermore, we’ve played and continue to play a pivotal role in Irish tourism. Recent research shows that over 80% of tourists use the pub for food and/or entertainment and it is the number one attraction.
“Overall, we believe a growing tourism business will be good for the pub and the pub will be good for tourism. The recent launch of ‘The Wild Atlantic Way’ is a case in point. The pub will be central to almost all of the offerings along this way. I would ask where else will people be fed and watered along the route?”.
The Irish pub is also a critical player in the local economy with figures showing that 64% of VFI pubs support local suppliers while the pub also supports at total of 7,000 local enterprises. In addition to that, the average spend per pub on capital and refurbishment is €23,000 per annum benefitting local tradesmen, carpenters, electricians and other trades.