Over half of tourists visit Ireland for our pubs
Over half of tourists visit Ireland because of the pubs, making it the second most popular reason people come here, according to a new survey.
The survey, carried out for the 'Support your Local' campaign, which aims to cut excise tax on alcoholic drinks, found that culture and heritage are still the most popular reason people come to Ireland.
57pc of tourists surveyed said that culture and heritage were the main reason for them to visit Ireland.
54pc said that the pub was the factor that most influenced their decision to visit.
The survey was carried out by iReach, a marketing firm, and sampled 500 tourists from the USA, Germany, Canada, France and the UK.
Irish people came off well in the survey, with three in five of those surveyed that it was the people who differentiated Ireland from other countries.
Almost 90pc of people said that the Irish enhance their holiday experience and quarter said that 'friendly' was the word that came to mind when they thought about the Irish.
One in five said that 'green grass and countryside' was what they associated most with Ireland.
The survey was commissioned by a group of publicans to try and highlight the importance of the Irish pub to tourists' experience of Ireland.
Noreen O’Sullivan, a publican in Tipperary and President of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, said that a high excise duty on alcohol was damaging the industry.
‘As it stands, excise is around 31% on beer, 68% on whiskey, and 64% on wine. These taxes are damaging our competitiveness and costing jobs,’ she said.
‘The survey reinforces the centrality of the Irish pub to Ireland’s tourism product."
Bart Storan, who runs the ‘Support Your Local’ campaign, said pubs played a key role in the Irish tourism industry.
"Our pubs and hospitality are renowned globally as part of the Irish character and experience," he said.
"In every city, town and village, pubs are part of the unique fabric of the community, supporting jobs, catalysing spending, and sharing our story around the world."
The survey interviewed recent tourist and those planning to visit Ireland from July 8 to 16, 2015.