More than 7,000 pubs, 2,000 restaurants, 3,000 off-licences and almost 1,000 hotels support 210,000 jobs in the Irish drinks and hospitality sector—new report

Posted on 25 May 2017
  • The drinks and hospitality sector pays €2.9 billion in wages and helps deliver €6.4 billion in tourism spend each year;
  • Authored by DCU Economist Anthony Foley, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) new report shows the sector contributes to local economies nationwide, in cities, towns and the country;
  • However, Ireland’s high alcohol excise tax risks derailing this growth and discouraging tourists from visiting, particularly those from the UK;
  • DIGI chief: “Punishingly high excise tax is bad for business, particularly following Brexit.”

Ireland’s hospitality sector supports almost 210,000 jobs nationwide, according to a new report entitled Ireland’s Hospitality and Drinks Sector and Your Constituency, authored by DCU economist Anthony Foley and published by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) today.

A total of 7,193 pubs, 3,161 off-licences, 2,406 restaurants, 983 hotels, 483 wholesalers and 98 producerspurchase €5.7 billion in materials and services, pay €2.9 billion in wages and deliver €6.4 billion in tourism spend each year, in cities, towns and villages.

Published at the launch of DIGI’s 2017 Support Your Local Campaign, the report breaks down these figures on a constituency basis, demonstrating the extensive reach of the sector and its importance to local economies across the country. In Tipperary, for example, it supports 4,000 jobs and pays out €87 million in wages while in Dublin West the industry employs 6,290 people and drives €140.8 million in wages.

Support Your Local 2017 is a DIGI campaign that seeks to highlight the economic, cultural and social contribution of the drinks and hospitality industry to Ireland.

Commenting, Maggie Timoney, Chair of DIGI and Managing Director, Heineken Ireland at DIGI, said: “This report demonstrates in clear and specific detail how important the drinks and hospitality sector is to Ireland as a whole, and to local economies and communities the length and breadth of the country.

“As we enter a new period of economic uncertainty in the form of Brexit, Government and industry must collaborate to ensure that hospitality businesses are protected from the worst of the fallout. At the moment, we are doing the opposite: local consumers and tourists are being stung by our high alcohol excise tax.

“In the long term, this is bad for business. Our hospitality and pub culture is a huge draw for tourists. Ireland’s hospitality sector is heavily reliant on the UK, and as price-sensitive British tourists seek out better value with their weaker sterling, we are hamstringing ourselves precisely at a time when our economy must be as diversified and prepared as possible.”

Ireland’s overall alcohol excise tax is the second highest in the EU, behind only Finland. By drink category, Ireland has the highest wine excise, the second highest beer excise and the third highest spirits excise.

“High excise discourages spending. Considering the huge economic importance of the drinks and hospitality sector to the country, any slowdown in activity will do serious harm to many businesses, particularly in rural Ireland where tourism is in many cases the primary contributor to the local economy, if not the only one.

“To make sure our economy is flexible and prepared for future shocks, we are calling on the Government to help protect Ireland’s drinks and hospitality industry by making the trading environment as friendly as possible to business owners and consumers, primarily by reducing excise tax.”

The full Ireland’s Hospitality and Drinks Sector and Your Constituency report can be read here: LINK


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