New all-island initiative to enhance Limerick’s reputation for food and drink

  • Taste The Island Workshop Pic Diarmuid Greene
In attendance at Fáilte Ireland's Taste the Island workshop at the Strand Hotel are Sinéad Hennessy, Fáilte Ireland, Tom Flavin, Executive Chef, Strand Hotel and Tracey Coughlan, Food Tourism Manager, Fáilte Ireland. (Photo by Diarmuid Greene)

Over fifty businesses and individuals from Limerick today attended Fáilte Ireland’s Taste the Island workshop in The Strand Hotel.  This is part of a series of workshops taking place across Ireland over the next number of weeks to develop a strong programme of food and drink experiences that can be included in the Taste the Island initiative.

The workshops have been organised for the industry to learn more and provide them with the opportunity to shape the development of a programme and Fáilte Ireland have produced a number of promotional videos for the workshops and can be viewed here

Globally, Ireland is known as a nation with a vibrant culture with green fields and pristine waters, together with a mild wet climate which gives us bountiful, sustainable and high-quality food produce. To enhance this reputation and to secure a greater reputation for Ireland in 2020 and beyond, a new all-island initiative, Taste the Island – a celebration of Ireland’s food and drink, has been developed by Fáilte Ireland, in collaboration with Tourism Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland and a range of stakeholders.  

The new initiative, Taste the Island, will showcase Ireland’s world-class food and drink culture across the island of Ireland from September to November by providing visitors with access to authentic food and drink experiences, high quality local ingredients and world class Irish food and drink produce. In 2018 food and drink consumption accounted for around €2.6bn or 35% of visitor spend and this expensive programme will seek to create an awareness and renewed appreciation at home and abroad of the strength and richness of Ireland’s food culture today.

Commenting at the workshop in Limerick’s Strand Hotel, Tracey Coughlan, Fáilte Ireland’s Food Tourism - Strategy and Programmes Manager, commented: 

“The range and quality of food and drink experiences that we met in at the workshop here in the Strand Hotel in Limerick today are really world class and have the potential to drive a lot more tourists to this area. We know that there is scope for growth around food and drink for tourists and aligned with our world-famous seascapes and landscapes, we have an incredibly strong offering to motivate tourists to visit here.

"Taste the Island is designed to showcase Ireland’s fantastic food and drink across September, October and November and I look forward to seeing some really strong ideas coming out of today’s workshop. What’s really important now is that people submit their proposals outlining what they are going to do for Taste the Island for what’s shaping up to be chock full season of food festivals and events all showcasing our world class produce." 

To kickstart the new and exciting initiative, Fáilte Ireland have invited businesses and individuals interested in providing tourists with a food or drink experience to attend workshops in their local area. Today’s workshop which took place in the Strand Hotel in Limerick is the sixth of eighteen workshops for the industry to learn more and provide them with the opportunity to shape the development of a programme of events and experiences for 2019. 

Ms Coughlan continued: “This initiative supports Fáilte Ireland’s strategic imperative to address seasonality and grow revenue by driving increasing bed nights outside of the summer season while also driving visitors to explore lesser-known locations across the country and will, in the long term, enhance Ireland’s international food and drink reputation before they get here.”

A new Toolkit guide on how the industry can deliver and maximise the opportunities in food and drink tourism, including a step by step guide for their business built around these 5 pillars:

  • Taste – pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels- everywhere you can taste out fantastic food and drink
  • Meet the maker – our passionate and innovative food producers
  • Make it yourself – our wonderful interactive food experiences, cookery schools and educational facilities
  • Trail/Networks – over 30 trails or clusters of businesses working together to enhance the visitor’s food and drink   experience all over the country
  • Festivals and Events – We are building a programme full of festivals and events throughout the Taste the Island from September to November 2019
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