Galway City comes in for particular mention as being “a swirl of enticing old pubs that hum with trad music sessions throughout the year” as does Limerick which enjoys “a contemporary café culture to go with its uncompromising pubs”.
While the VFI warmly welcomed the travel guide’s words, it was extremely critical of the present Government and the previous administration for their lack of support.
“Successive Governments have done little to support Ireland’s number one tourist attraction,” stated VFI President Gerry Mellett, “On the contrary, obstacle after obstacle has been put in front of the industry resulting in declining options for those very tourists we are relying on to grow that most important of industries.
“More than 1,500 pubs have closed in the past five years and more pub closures and job losses are inevitable unless the Government acts to support this industry.”
VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben agreed, adding, “We are delighted to be recognised once again by the Lonely Planet and would now like to see the Government taking action to support Ireland’s number one tourist attraction to prevent further pub closures and to save more jobs in this industry before it’s too late.
“If the crippling regulation on the pub industry is addressed and certain measures are taken, thousands of jobs around the country will be saved. Publicans across the board have cut their cost base in order to stay in business but the high regulatory costs involved in running a pub are driving more and more out of business each week. This vitally important industry needs help if it is to survive.”