By throwing open their doors and by showcasing their people, their places and their practices, Irish whiskey distilleries are putting their authenticity and uniqueness on display while providing highly-popular tourist attractions.
During the second part of the past decade, Irish whiskey tourism emerged as a star performer in Ireland’s tourism offering; and Irish whiskey began to be recognised as a world leader in experiential tourism. Many distilleries and brand homes have innovated and expanded their offerings, with a marked increase in blending and cocktail classes as well as ‘meet the maker’, food-pairings and seasonal events.
2020 has been a very different story. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the collapse in international travel and tourism. While many visitor centres had a moderately busy Summer with domestic staycationers, the impact of Covid-19 on visitors to Irish whiskey tourism attractions in 2020 has been devastating and the outlook for 2021 remains uncertain. The association is working with members to map out a new approach to support the recovery and future viability of Irish whiskey tourism.
In late 2019, IrishWhiskey360° was launched as a new promotional platform for Irish whiskey tourism with the full website going live in January 2020.