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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Four out of five tourists say the traditional Irish pub is Ireland's biggest tourist attraction

Emma Jane Hade

Published 19/08/2014 | 21:03

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Paul Carty: 'We've stayed ahead of the market, which has been a good performance over the last few years, especially given the state of the wider
economy'.
Paul Carty, the managing director of the Guinness Storehouse and chairman of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, said the country “absolutely” needs to capitalise on the stereotype of the traditional pub in order to satisfy our visitors.
The traditional Irish pub

FOUR out of five tourists have cited the traditional Irish pub as the biggest tourist attraction in Ireland.

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Some 80 per cent of international visitors have said their desire to experience an Irish pub brought them here.

Meanwhile, listening to Irish music in a pub was the number one activity for 83pc of tourists.

The numbers were revealed today in a report called ‘The Contribution of the Drinks Industry to Tourism’ from Dublin City University’s Tony Foley.

A panel of industry experts in Dublin today discussed whether “our hospitality and drinks industries are unique resources or do they play into an embarrassing national stereotype?”

However, Paul Carty, the managing director of the Guinness Storehouse and chairman of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, said the country “absolutely” needs to capitalise on the stereotype of the traditional pub in order to satisfy our visitors.

The Guinness Storehouse was the biggest fee-charging tourist attraction in the country last year, drawing almost 1.2m visitors – with 93pc from overseas.

“They want to come, and they want to experience what is uniquely Irish.  We engage with people, we have this term called the ‘craic’.  And, it’s around conversation, fun, music and all of that. It’s quite unique to Ireland, and something we should dial up and not play down,” Mr Carty said.

He believes that marketing our pubs is not a negative thing, and is more about promoting a cultural experience.

“Most tourists actually don’t drink a lot of alcohol – they want conversations, and they want stories,” he added.

The discussion is part of the ‘Support Your Local’ campaign, which has been launched by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).

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