An assessment of the economic value of food tourism to the Irish economy

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Moloney, Richard
Ryan, Marie
Kenneally, Martin
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Business & Economics Society International
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Tourism is a hedonic product. It is made up of many characteristics which can vary both quantity and importance. One of the crucial characteristics in the Irish tourism product is food and food services. Expenditure on food and beverages by tourists and the value of such expenditure is an important component in the development and expansion the overall Irish tourism product. It is an important issue which interacts with other issues such as diversification, cultural integration and the creation of closer relationships between the tourist consumer and product provider. Strong correlation has been found between increased levels of food expenditure and the retention and development of regional identity (Mak, et al, 2012). This is a result of an increased awareness in the social and in the cultural benefits of indigenous food production and of local consumption. It allows tourists to experience traditional heritage, skills and lifestyle. Both tourism and the food and beverages sectors are strong and vibrant sectors in Ireland. They are the most important indigenous drivers of the Irish economy and are playing a vital role in Ireland’s economic recovery. The sectors are central in creating jobs and increasing export earnings which, in turn, are fuelling the economic rebirth of the country. This paper provides an economic assessment of the food and drink spend by visitors to Ireland. The study reports estimates of the overall value of this aspect of the tourism sector to the economy. It compares the results with those of some of our main competitors within this niche market. Results are provided in terms of income and employment.
Ireland , Tourism , Food and food services
Moloney, R., Ryan, M. and Kenneally, M. (2013) 'An assessment of the economic value of food tourism to the Irish economy', Global Business & Economics Anthology, 2, pp. 1-8.
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