Dublin’s St. James’s Gate Brewery remains Ireland’s top international visitor attraction for 2017 with more than 1.7 million visitors
The Guinness Storehouse retains its position as Ireland’s number one international visitor attraction by surpassing all previous records – 1,711,281 guests passed through its doors in 2017. The number of visitors from the United States during 2017 rose by 13% as compared with the year before while the number of visitors from Canada was up by 5%.
Since first opening its doors to the public in 2000, the Guinness Storehouse has welcomed almost 18 million visitors.
Guinness Storehouse experienced growth from a number of key markets including: USA (+13%), France (+8%), and Canada (+5%) along with new and developing markets like China (+21%) and Australia (+2%). In 2017, tourists from the US and the UK made up the majority of visitors to the Guinness Storehouse: 28% of visitors came from North America with 26% visiting from the UK.
To coincide with their New Year’s Day visitor number announcement, the Guinness Storehouse published the results of an independent economic impact report. The report, carried out by CHL Consulting Company, identified Guinness Storehouse as a key factor in attracting international visitors to Ireland: 34% stating that a visit to the Guinness Storehouse played a crucial role in their decision to travel to Ireland. This translates to an economic contribution of €361.2 million over a 12-month period.
Tourism is one of Ireland's most important economic sectors and plays a significant role in Ireland's economic renewal. The industry is responsible for overseas earnings of €6.6 billion contributing to the overall tourism sector which supports 225,000 jobs.
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Overseas visitors to the Guinness Storehouse spend an average of €134 a day on other services and experiences outside of the Guinness Storehouse and in turn support an additional 8,907 jobs. Located in the heart of Dublin city, Guinness Storehouse is also a significant direct employer – 320 full-time staff and 62 seasonal workers are employed there.
Guinness Storehouse tells the story of one of Ireland’s most iconic brands, Guinness. The journey begins at the bottom of the world's largest pint glass and continues up through seven floors, including the highlight for many visitors – the famous Gravity Bar, which provides an unparalleled panoramic 360⁰ view of Dublin city. In addition to the Gravity Bar experience, visitors discover what goes into making each and every pint of Guinness and learn about the incredible brand history stretching over 250 years.
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Commenting on the visitor numbers, Paul Carty, Managing Director of the Guinness Storehouse said, “2017 was another incredibly successful year for the Guinness Storehouse. As well as welcoming more than 1.7 million visitors through our doors we also announced details of a €16 million expansion plan which will see the iconic Gravity Bar double in size.
“Our aim is to position Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse as a year-round, ‘must visit’ destination and to ensure that the contribution of overseas tourism to the economy continues to expand. This year we saw a strong market diversification and visitor growth from long-haul markets in Asia Pacific. We are excited to begin the next chapter of the Guinness Storehouse and welcome even more visitors in 2018.”
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Alex Connolly, Fáilte Ireland said, “This is another fantastic performance by the Guinness Storehouse which is a ‘must-visit’ destination for all who come to Dublin. Engaging, interactive and enjoyable attractions are the lifeblood of tourism and the Guinness Storehouse is certainly playing its part to entertain our visitors.
“I am particularly pleased to see that this high-performing attraction doesn’t sit on its laurels and keeps a strong focus on the customer – constantly evolving and developing what it has to offer. This bodes well for visitor numbers in the future.”
The Guinness Storehouse is continually developing its visitor experience to meet and exceed consumers’ expectations. As well as its plan to double the Gravity Bar in size by 2019, this year the Guinness Storehouse opened an enhanced brewing floor and continues to develop its food offering which focuses on matching dishes on the menu with a beer from the Guinness portfolio, showcasing the complex and distinctive flavors of Guinness.
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Here’s a promo video from Guinness Storehouse: