New Fáilte Ireland Food & Drink Strategy Aims to Change Overseas Visitor Perceptions

As pub food sales continue a steady climb, Fáilte Ireland has launched a new strategy to boost the relationship between tourism and the food and drinks industry. The tourism body says the industry needs to work towards changing the perception about local food and drink amongst overseas visitors from being a pleasant surprise to becoming one of the compelling reasons to visit Ireland.

The Director of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland, Paul Keeley, said the vast majority of overseas visitors are positively surprised and satisfied by the overall quality of Ireland’s food and drink offering and return home having had a memorable experience during their visit but, prior to coming, their expectations of Irish food and drink are lower. Mr Keeley said:

“Food and drink consumption is an intrinsic part of the tourist experience. Quality experiences are now a major contributor to increasing holiday satisfaction. To raise our game, we need to develop our capacity and performance within food in tourism businesses so that operators deliver a world class offering that is consistent and profitable.

As part of this, we need to ensure that our visitor attractions use local foods to deliver an offering representative of place, we need to enhance our national menu in areas such as the Irish Breakfast, support pubs in bringing authentic experiences to life and assist the tourism industry in tailoring Ireland’s local food story”

The new Food and Drink Development Strategy 2018-2023 aims to increase the availability of great Irish food and drink experiences across the country, to increase the number of tourism businesses engaged with development initiatives and, overseas, to increase and enhance the awareness and perception of Ireland’s food and drink offering. In order to develop and improve the food and drinks experiences in pubs the product must be authentic and the service must be of high quality.

In 2017 about €2 billion was spent on food and drink by overseas vistiors. By targeted investment and effective promotion of the quality food and drink experiences available, the report claims that Food and drink sales could help grow tourism revenue by as much as €400 million over the next 5 years.

Food and drink experiences play a substantial part in helping to generate and sustain economic opportunity and development by increasing visitor numbers, dwell time, spend and satisfaction in visited areas. There have been great strides over recent years in the quality of Ireland’s food and drink offering – now including over 7,000 pubs, 16 whiskey distilleries, over 15 gin distilleries, and 60 plus micro-breweries.

To view the full report click HERE.

See below a promotional video by Fáilte Ireland highlighting the importance of food and drink in Ireland to the tourism sector: