29 May 2022

Kilkenny's hoteliers call for reversal on decision to close the Smithwicks Experience


The closure of the Smithwick's Experience will be a huge loss

Kilkenny hoteliers are calling on Diageo to reverse the decision to close The Smithwicks Experience.

Several owners and operators of the city's hotels have contacted Diageo to 'express disbelief with the announcement by Diageo on April 28, to permanently close with immediate effect, Kilkenny’s highly regarded visitor attraction, The Smithwicks Experience'.

"As long standing and significant customers of Diageo, the manner in which the closure was announced and the lack of engagement with the wider hospitality industry in Kilkenny has left a very bad taste. As Hoteliers, we are particularly disappointed, as we have all been champions of your brand throughout the years, supporting Diageo sponsored festivals and events and doing everything in our power to promote Smithwicks to the 500,000 visitors who stay in our establishments every year.

"With a heritage of brewing Smithwicks in Kilkenny since 1710, there are very few businesses in the whole of Ireland with such an intrinsic link and history, as Smithwicks does with Kilkenny. In more recent years, The Smithwicks Experience has become a vital part of our tourism offering, contributing greatly to commercial activity in Kilkenny, by attracting more international visitors, creating jobs and ultimately helping us to sell more of your products.

"Many of our hotels have created accommodation packages, which include the Smithwicks Experience and we have all invested heavily in creating printed and digital marketing collateral around your visitor attraction. We believe that the permanent closure of the Smithwicks Experience will be a detrimental loss to our City and tourism, in general, in Kilkenny. We strongly urge you and your colleagues in Diageo to reverse the decision to close The Smithwicks Experience and engage with the Local Authority and the wider business community in Kilkenny, to explore every possible opportunity to adapt the visitor attraction and make it a viable business and experience in to the future," they said.

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