IrishWhiskey360° is Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey’s tourism-focused campaign to raise international awareness about the depth and diversity of Irish whiskey’s tourism offering.
Two North American events have been planned:
- A lunch, briefing and Irish whiskey-tasting with visiting Irish whiskey Brand Ambassadors was held in Toronto and
- A briefing and Irish whiskey-tasting event with 17 Irish whiskey companies in conjunction with the Irish American Business Chamber in Philadelphia is set for tomorrow, Wednesday, 11th
These form part of an extensive series of Irish events taking place across North America in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day which are to be attended by a large number of Irish whiskey Brand Ambassadors and industry leaders from Ireland including the Chairman of Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey David Stapleton and the Head of Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey William Lavelle.
“Over one third of all visitors to Irish whiskey distilleries last year came from the US or Canada,” stated William Lavelle recently ahead of tomorrow’s event, “But, surprisingly, the number of visitors from North America is falling. We aim to stop and reverse that decline. We’re very grateful to Tourism Ireland for partnering with IrishWhiskey360° to raise awareness of Irish whiskey among key US and Canadian media and stakeholders.”
North America remains the top market of origin for visitors to Irish whiskey distilleries, with tourists from the US and Canada accounting for 34% of all visits in 2019. However, the total number of tourists from the US and Canada fell by 8% last year in real terms.
Over one million people visited Irish whiskey distilleries and brand homes last year, the first time visitor numbers have exceeded the one million mark with a 10.5% increase in visitor numbers last year – from 923,000 in 2018 to 1.02 million.
In just four years, the total number of visitors to Irish whiskey distilleries and brand homes has grown by 54% – from 653,000 in 2015.
The Irish whiskey tourism offer ranges from the Jameson Experience in Dublin which is the most visited spirits tourism attraction in Europe (with over 350,000 visitors annually), to distilleries in locations including Dingle, Kilbeggan and Slane, bringing jobs, visitors and income to rural communities.