Alcohol is good (for economy) says industry

23 June 2015
By David O’Sullivan
http://twitter.com/david_osullivan

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It’s easy to criticise the drinks industry, but what Irishman or woman did not work in a pub at some stage?

This week local small business owners in the hospitality industry are enthusiastically asking the people of Cork to “Support Your Local” and choose a trip to their local pub, restaurant or hotel this summer. This comes as part of the Support Your Local Campaign, which is seeking to highlight the economic contribution that the drinks and hospitality industry makes across the country.

The latest research shows that in Cork the drinks and hospitality industry:

· Accounts for 1,080 hotels and pubs

· Supports 10,538 jobs

· Pays €226m worth of wages

· Purchases 168m litres worth of milk, and 111,176 tonnes of barley

The campaign from the industry is called “Support your local”, and has the Twitter username of supporturlocal

Michael Farrell from Farrells Bar Summerfield Youghal said:

“Nothing beats a trip to the local pub. Pubs are the hub of the local town, the heart of the local community, a place where people can relax and enjoy the welcome surrounds of friends and neighbours or simply pop in for a quick bite on a Sunday. If we are going to preserve that, we need to support our locals, which is why I am delighted to lend my support to this campaign to call on people to ‘Support Your Local…’”

“Pubs are also vital for tourists, with our céad míle fáilte famous the world over. Tourists tell me time and time again that they love having a pint with locals. The Irish pub experience is now famous the world over with Failte Ireland research proving that a trip to the pub is one of the top ‘to-dos’ for tourists. We as nation should be proud of our world renowned hospitality.”

Bart Storan, Campaign Manager for Support Your Local said:

“In Cork, the drinks and hospitality industry supports over 10,000 jobs, with over 1,000 hotels and pubs in Cork vital for the community and tourists alike. The industry also supports local farmers, purchasing 168m litres of milk a year and 111,176 tonnes of barley. This summer, we’re asking the people of Cork to ‘Support Your Local’.

“We do, however, also need a show of support from the Government in the next Budget. Currently, alcohol taxation in the form of excise is uncompetitive and leaves local customers and tourists out of pocket. The price of a pint would be 14% cheaper is we applied German excise rates here. Additionally, previous Failte Ireland research has found that the price of a pint is a major reason why tourists wouldn’t return. Therefore we call on the government to bring alcohol taxation levels in line with European norms to facilitate Ireland’s hospitality sector.

“We are also calling on the government to establish a taskforce to support valuable local businesses from the hospitality sector and to work to implement measures to ensure their survival.”

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