Taste the Island – 50 local businesses celebrate Ireland’s food and drink

Sian Moloughney

Reporter:

Sian Moloughney

Email:

sian.moloughney@kilkennypeople.ie

Taste the Island – 50 local businesses celebrate Ireland’s food and drink

Grainne Ward (Failte Ireland), Brian Tyrrell, Senior Executive Officer Kilkenny Tourism, Aisling Hayes, Grace Quinn and Tracey Coughlan, Fáilte Ireland. Photo: Vicky Comerford

Over 50 businesses and individuals from Kilkenny today attended Fáilte Ireland’s Taste the Island workshop in the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny.

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 by Fáilte Ireland for the industry to learn more and provide them with the opportunity to shape the development of a programme.  Fáilte Ireland have produced a number of promotional videos for the workshops that 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.


 
Above: Ann Phelan - Marketing Manager -  Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, Brendan Murran and Tracey Coughlan, Fáilte Ireland

Commenting at the workshop in the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny, Tracey Coughlan, Fáilte Ireland’s Food Tourism - Strategy and Programmes Manager, commented: “The range and quality of food and drink businesses and experiences from Kilkenny that we met at the workshop here in the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny 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. 
 
Paul Beehan, General Manager, The Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny, commented: “The Newpark Hotel here in Kilkenny is delighted to host Fáilte Ireland and the Taste the Island initiative. Kilkenny has already established itself as an amazing foodie destination and we are looking forward to further promoting the wonderful food the region has to offer.”
 
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 (website www.failteireland.ie/ tastetheisland) 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