Visitors to Irish whiskey distilleries up 11%

9th January, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

Irish whiskey distilleries welcomed 814,000 visitors in 2017 – an increase of 11% compared to the previous year, the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has revealed.

More people are becoming interested in how Irish whiskey is made

This also marks a 25% increase over two years, with 653,000 people visiting Irish whiskey distilleries in 2015.

There are currently 12 distillery visitor centres in Ireland, however significant interest and investment in the industry will see at least 10 new sites open in the coming years.

According to the IWA, the majority of tourists hailed from the US, UK, Germany, France and Northern Europe.

At the end of 2016, the association launched the Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy, which aims to make Ireland a “world leader” in whisk(e)y tourism by 2030. This year, the IWA will launch a “major initiative” under the strategy, details of which are yet to be revealed.

“Continued double-digit growth proves that Irish whiskey tourism is a hot trend right now and an increasingly important part of Ireland’s tourism offer,” said William Lavelle, head of the IWA.

“Whiskey tourism is delivering tourists, jobs and investment to local economies right across Ireland, from Dublin’s Liberties to rural communities.”

As new players enter the market and as consumer interest grows, The Spirits Business recently assessed whether Irish whiskey is in need of more regulations.

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