The IrishWhiskey360° brand website and social media platforms were launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Mr Michael Creed TD at an event in The Jameson Experience, Bow Street, Dublin.
The Minister was joined at the launch by the Chairman of Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey David Stapleton and Fáilte Ireland Chief Executive Paul Kelly.
IrishWhiskey360°, a new Irish whiskey tourism initiative, has been grant-funded by Fáilte Ireland to increase visitor numbers to Ireland’s 17 (and rising) distillery visitor centres or brand homes operated by members of Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey (formerly the Irish Whiskey Association).
The initiative aims to make Ireland the top destination in the world for whiskey tourism. Regional campaigns and materials that link-in with Fáilte Ireland’s and Tourism NI’s regional brands and teams will be conducted too as part of this drive.
Distillery visitor centres on the up
In 2018 Irish distilleries recorded 923,000 visitors, up 13.4% on 2017 (and up 41% compared to 2015). 45% of visitors in 2018 came from North America, 14% from Great Britain, 12% from Ireland, 8% from Germany and 7% from France.
By the end of this year that figure should stand at over one million and a figure of 1.94 million has been targeted by the industry by 2025 in its Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy.
IrishWhiskey360° is an incremental initiative which will be rolled-out in phases.
At the launch Minister Michael Creed said that it was good to see the three sectors – food, drink & tourism – working in collaboration with one another.
The launch of IrishWhiskey360° also supports the Government’s FoodWise 2025 strategy which calls on industry and state agencies to work collaboratively to develop an Irish whiskey and food-pairing trail as a major tourist attraction.
“The industry has grown from just four distilleries in 2013 to 26 operational distilleries in 2019,” the Minister said in welcoming the launch of IrishWhiskey360°, adding that Irish whiskey has made a huge contribution to Ireland’s tourism industry and has “massive potential to bring more visitors and more jobs to cities, towns and rural communities right across Ireland.”
The launch of this initiative coincides with Fáilte Ireland’s Taste the Island promotion and Fáilte Ireland’s Chief Executive Paul Kelly highlighted the €2 billion spend on food and drink by tourists which accounts for 35% of all tourism spend.
Food & drink is becoming a more important factor in choice of destination, he added, pointing out that Irish whiskey also accounts for some €700,000 a year in exports.
Festival of Irish Whiskey
Additionally, from Thursday 10th of October to Sunday 13th October, an Irish Whiskey Festival will be launched supported by Fáilte Ireland as part of Taste the Island promotion.
IrishWhiskey360° will coordinate over 30 events and promotions in distilleries, brand homes and Irish whiskey visitor centres across the country and in conjunction with the on-trade.
The planned events and promotions range across free and discounted tours, open days, whiskey tastings and food pairings, cooperage demonstrations, meet the distillers talks and more. More information and a detailed festival schedule will be published in the coming weeks and listed on the website.
“The Festival of Irish Whiskey is a perfect example of how, by working together, we can develop compelling visitor experiences that can attract more international visitors to Ireland and boost the country’s reputation for its food and drink,” said Paul Kelly, “Fáilte Ireland is delighted to support the festival and include it in our Taste the Island programme of events which is designed to create more opportunities to spread visitors across Ireland outside of the traditional busy Summer months.”
List of IrishWhiskey360° visitor centres/brands homes
- Jameson Experience, Bow Street, Dublin 1
- Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Dublin 8
- Pearse Lyons Distillery, Dublin 8
- Dublin Liberties Distillery, Dublin 8
- Roe & Co Distillery, Dublin 8
- Jameson Distillery, Midleton, Co. Cork
- Dingle Distillery, Co Kerry
- Clonakilty Distillery, Co Cork
- Kilbeggan Distillery, Co Westmeath
- Tullamore Dew, Co Offaly
- Slane Distillery, Co Meath
- Royal Oak Distillery, Co Carlow
- Powerscourt Distillery, Co Wicklow
- Bushmills Distillery, Co Antrim
- The Echlinville Distillery, Co Down
- Rademon Estate Distillery, Co Down
- Connacht Whiskey Distillery, Co Mayo
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