• Cyril McAree

Ireland’s Attractions Putting Irish Food And Drink At The TOP Of The Menu

Bringing the finest in local culinary practices to the menu is one of the aims of the ‘Taste of Place’ programme run by Fáilte Ireland. As part of the programme, the National Tourism Development Authority is hosting a series of nationwide workshops bringing together visitor centres, attractions and distilleries to highlight how providing visitors with locally sourced food can drive revenue growth.

The first of the workshops took place last week in the Tannery Dungarvan cookery school, Waterford with the second workshop currently taking place in the Airfield Estate, Dundrum with Distilleries from all over the country attending followed by the final workshop at the Good Things Café Cookery School in Skibbereen from Tuesday, 6th November until Thursday, 8th November next.

The programme includes an introduction to how food motivates the visitor with participants discovering the latest in tourist trends and culinary concepts together with best practice examples of where local authentic food offerings drive revenue growth in business and enhance value perception. They will also get a variety of cookery demonstrations from industry leaders and take part in working sessions to inspire change and deliver a renewed food and beverage offering.

The programme aims to support catering teams to deliver an authentic and quality food and beverage experience that is rooted in place by:

Introducing more menu options that reflect the culinary traditions of a local area.

Sourcing ingredients from local Irish suppliers.

Linking elements of the food offering to the wider destination brands.

Sinead Hennessey, Food Tourism Officer at Fáilte Ireland said:“Taste of Place is a certification programme that recognizes tourism attractions that are committed to sourcing local Irish food and drink. We can all accept that food is more important than ever as consumers continue to become more conscious around their choices and it is great to see so many visitor experiences capitalizing on this growing trend. Since its inception, Taste of Place has worked with over 70 visitor attractions all across Ireland to advance the local offering, making a significant impact on visitor satisfaction and revenue growth”

Paul Carty, Chairperson of the Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AVEA) said: “Globally food tourism is increasing and Ireland is well positioned to take advantage of our high quality food and drink production. The workshops and Programme gives businesses the opportunity to experience local produce as part of the stories our members deliver, greatly enhancing the overall experience as well as contributing to increased revenue growth.”

William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association added: “With Irish whiskey now the fastest growing premium spirit in the world, it’s not surprising that more international tourists want to visit our distilleries and learn about the people and places that define Irish whiskey. Our members have noticed that international visitors are not just interested in Irish whiskey, they also want to experience quality food and drink while visiting Ireland. The Taste of Place programme offers a valuable opportunity for our member’s distilleries to promote local Irish food and drink from their region.”

Food and beverages are integral to the overall tourism experience in Ireland and Fáilte Ireland research shows that 80% of visitors believe it is an important part of their visit and has a significant impact on their overall satisfaction levels in a destination.

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