8 December 2015
By Tom Collins
The Jameson Experience Midleton (JEM) has won the ‘Ultimate Ambassador Award’ at the second annual #CorkNeedsYou Cork Conference Ambassadors Awards, organised by the Cork Convention Bureau. The prestigious ceremony paid special tribute to the JEM for its contribution to Cork tourism, having welcomed 125,000 visitors to the visitor centre in the past year.
The ‘Ultimate Ambassador Award’ recognised the unparalleled economic and tourism benefits the JEM team delivered to Cork over the past 12 months. Last year, it welcomed 125,000 visitors from around the world, with the top five nationalities being USA, France, Germany, Britain and domestic visitors from Ireland. This shows a 5% increase in figures from 2014.
Accepting the award on the evening were Sabine Sheehan (Sales and Marketing Manager of the Jameson Brand Homes,) and Ignacio Peregrina (General Manager of the Jameson Experience).
Speaking on the accolade, Sabine Sheehan said:
“We are honoured to accept this award on behalf of the whole Irish Distillers team. Our heritage in Cork goes back to 1779, when what was to become Paddy Irish whiskey was first distilled at the North Mall. We moved production of the iconic Jameson Irish whiskey to Midleton in 1975 and we’ve seen the brand grow from selling less than half a million cases in the mid-1990s to over 5m cases this year.”
She continued; “This global success is good news for Irish Distillers and is good news for Cork. In the last number of years, we’ve invested over €200m in upgrading the distillery in Midleton and maturation site in Dungourney, and opened the Irish Whiskey Academy and Archive to lead the way in Irish whiskey education. Now, as Jameson’s global popularity soars, so too does the popularity of the Jameson Experience Midleton”.
Ignacio Peregrina, General Manager of the Jameson Experience said,
“It’s pleasing to note that many Irish people are choosing to holiday at home and enjoy what Ireland, and Cork in particular, has to offer. Fáilte Ireland statistics suggest a 4% increase in domestic holiday trips in the last year. Also, the introduction of the daily Jameson bus service from Cork city to Midleton has considerably increased the number of visitors from Cork city.”
The distillery tour and whiskey tasting experience remain as key features of a visit to the Jameson Experience. However, the latest additions to the site, including a live whiskey maturation warehouse incorporating a cooperage display, and the new “Behind The Scenes Tour”, have dramatically enhanced the guests’ experience and the popularity of the distillery.
A new Micro-Distillery, launched in August 2015, on the grounds of the Jameson Experience, will produce small batch whiskeys using both traditional and innovative recipes and techniques dating back to the time of John Jameson. From January 2016, visitors to Midleton will have the opportunity to visit the micro distillery to appreciate the sights and aromas of live copper pot stills in action.
Speaking at the ceremony, Seamus Heaney, Chairman of Cork Convention Bureau said:
“I’m delighted to be here this evening, paying a well-deserved tribute to all of our Cork Ambassadors who work tirelessly to deliver valuable business tourism for Cork. To give you a sense of the value of business tourism to the local economy, more than €50 million has been generated in the past eight years here in Cork. During the last 12 months alone, we have helped bring more than 13,000 delegates to Cork, 7,000 of whom were international visitors.”