Irish Whiskey 360° platform to boost tourism

10th September, 2019 by Melita Kiely

The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has launched Irish Whiskey 360°, a new campaign and website designed to boost the spirit category’s tourism.


Irish whiskey is set to attract more than 1m tourists in 2019 for the first time

The first phase of the new initiative will focus on highlighting 17 Irish whiskey distillery visitor centres or brand homes that are operated by members of Drinks Ireland and the IWA.

According to the IWA, 923,000 people visited Irish whiskey distilleries in 2018 – a 13% increase compared to 2017 and 41% more than 2015.

Of those visiting last year, 45% travelled from North America, 14% came from Great Britain, 12% from Ireland, 8% from Germany and 7% from France.

Visitor numbers are expected to break the one million mark for the first time this year.

William Lavelle, head of the IWA and Drinks Ireland, said: “Irish Whiskey 360° aims to make Ireland the number one destination in the world for Irish whiskey tourism.

“Visitors to Irish whiskey distilleries and visitor centres are set to break the one million mark this year for the first time ever. The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy, which we published in 2016, sets out an ambitious target of 1.7 million visitors by 2025.

“The fantastic collaborative approach taken by distilleries, visitor centres and state agencies – which is central to [the] Irish Whiskey 360° project – will ensure we reach this target.”

The unveiling of Irish Whiskey 360° backs the government’s Food Wise 2025 strategy, which encourages industry and state agencies to work together to create an Irish whiskey and food-pairing trail as a “major tourist attraction”.

Michael Creed TD, minister for agriculture, food and marine, launched the Irish Whiskey 360° brand, website and social media platforms today (10 September). He commented: “Irish whiskey is one of the real success stories of the Irish food and drink industry, competing on the world stage with sales in over 135 markets.

“The industry has grown from just four distilleries in 2013 to 26 operational distilleries in 2019.

“It has made a huge contribution to Ireland’s tourism industry, attracting almost one million visitors to 17 Irish whiskey distillery visitor centres and brand homes all over the country.

“I am delighted to launch Irish Whiskey 360° as it has massive potential to bring more visitors and jobs to cities, towns and rural communities right across Ireland.”

L-r: Paul Kelly, chief executive of Fáilte Ireland; Michael Creed TD, minister for agriculture, food and marine; and David Stapleton, chairman of Drinks Ireland

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