independent

Saturday 20 September 2014

Importance of pubs to tourism highlighted

Simon Brouder

Published 30/08/2014 | 05:36

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THE importance of Kerry's pubs to the tourist sector has been highlight by a new report by leading Irish economist Tony Foley of the DCU Business School.

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THE importance of Kerry's pubs to the tourist sector has been highlight by a new report by leading Irish economist Tony Foley of the DCU Business School.

His report, which was published in the last week, showed that four out of every five tourists that visit the country cited their desire to experience the Irish pub as the main factor that influenced them to visit Ireland. The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) hosted the launch of the report as part of its 'Support your local' campaign.

Foley's report also provides up to date information on the number of pubs and bars currently trading in Kerry. The data shows that there are now 640 public houses and other bars in Kerry. These include 449 pubs, 52 hotel bars, 23 fully licenced restaurants and 116 wine only licensed restaurants.

According to the report the number of overseas tourists visiting the south west in 2013 was 1,851,000 and overseas tourism expenditure in the region was €615 million.

"Tourism is expected to play a major role in the recovery of employment and economic activity over the next few years. Punitive excise increases in the last two budgets have created an unsustainable position for the industry - pubs are closing and the small businesses that make up the industry are struggling to stay afloat," said 'Support Your Local' Campaign Manager Bart Storan.

"Excise is a tax on tourism. Increasing tax on alcohol, including excise duty, does not address misuse of the product, it simply harms our tourism offering.

Failte Ireland research cites that the price of alcohol, which is the highest in Europe, is one of the main contributors as to why tourists would not visit Ireland again-second only to the weather.

Do we really want to give tourists another reason not to visit again? said Mr Storan.

Kerryman

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