Explore / What is the Experience Economy

300,000 people work hard as part of Ireland’s world-beating Experience Economy which is worth €4 billion to the Irish economy. Ibec’s More than Meets the Eye campaign, outlines the economic importance of the Experience Economy which brings us deep into a supply chain of businesses that employs hundreds of thousands of people across the island of Ireland to deliver world-class experiences. It encompasses hospitality, retail, travel, food, drink, tourism, entertainment, technology, events and organisations in the arts, cultural, sporting and heritage sectors.

The Experience Economy extends beyond tourism and underpins our economy

The Experience Economy contains large and small businesses operating across multiple sectors in Ireland.

Given so many different government agencies and government departments engage with the Experience Economy, there is weak strategic oversight. 

Ibec recommends:
The Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment should have strategic oversight and responsibility for the development and delivery of a holistic strategy for the entire Experience Economy to maximise its potential.

Find out more

Listen to Ibec Voices Podcast

The Experience Economy is a diverse and substantial part of Irish life and plays an important role in Ireland’s international reputation as a place to live, work and visit. Listen as Ibec’s Sharon Higgins and former CEO Dalata Hotel Group, Pat McCann, discuss the scale of Ireland's Experience Economy, Ibec’s ambitions for its growth, and recommendations to Government for further support.

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Explore / Our recommendations for government

Ibec is lobbying for the status and investment in the Experience Economy and ecosystem to create the conditions for the Experience Economy to achieve world class potential that is sustainable and uniquely Irish.

The Experience Economy  / What our members say

Experience Economy / Frequently asked questions

The Experience Economy comprises of businesses and a workforce which operate across multiple sectors in Ireland as well as encompassing organisations in the arts, cultural, sporting, and heritage sectors. Across its domain are hospitality, retail, travel, food, drink, tourism, entertainment, events and activity combining together to deliver transformative experiences to visitors. It brings us deeper than the surface of traditional ‘front of house,’ reaching into the supply chain with very many ancillary suppliers and contractors along with a crucial interdependency with our indigenous food and drink industry. Underpinning it is a diverse and dedicated workforce with the very many ancillary suppliers, contractors, and services and a crucial interdependency with our indigenous food industry. The Experience Economy, and the people that power it, go beyond the function of providing a commodity but instead thrive and compete on the basis of experience.

Overall on the Island the Experience Economy employed around 420,000 people directly or indirectly prior to the crisis that is one in five people on the island of Ireland.

Before the pandemic, it comprised of €4.5 billion in wages, salaries and employment taxes every year. Up until 2020, spending in the Experience Economy accounted for more than one euro in every three euro spent by a household in Ireland. This compares to the one euro in every four euro in the EU as a whole.

€4 billion spent by the Experience Economy every year on purchases of goods and services, including over €1 billion in purchases from domestic food and drink suppliers.

Overseas visitors spent €5.6 billion in Ireland in 2019, with Irish domestic tourism accounting for a further €2.1 billion.


Discover / Experience Economy by numbers

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