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Guinness Storehouse: attracting tourists to the Liberties

 

Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

 

From Christ Church Cathedral to Kilmainham Gaol, the Liberties are home to a number of widely visited tourist destinations. The best-known of these is the Guinness Storehouse, located in the heart of the Liberties at St. James’s gate. The world famous brewery is Ireland’s number one tourist destination and attracts one million visitors from 25 countries each year.

Of the one million tourists that visit the brewery each year, 45% of these arrive by foot, walking from the city centre, along Thomas Street, to the ‘home of Guinness’.

Speaking about the influence of the brewery on the Liberties, a spokesperson for the Guinness Storehouse said, “The Liberties is a unique area with a special history and place in Dublin folklore, and as our visitors travel through the area, they get to experience one of the oldest parts of the city.” However 550,000 of the annual visitors don’t arrive by foot to the Storehouse, meaning that more often than not the Liberties area is completely bypassed, so in this case what effect, if any, does the Storehouse have on the area?

As you walk down various streets in the Liberties, there are no significant merchandise shops or souvenir shops aimed at the tourists passing through the area, despite the area being home to numerous tourist attractions.

For many business owners around the Liberties, the Storehouse does not provide any major boost in business from Guinness tourists. Jack Roche, owner of J. Roche Green Grocers on Meath Street said, “It’s been good for the area, bringing more people in. We get a surprising number of tourists coming from along Patrick’s cathedral and Christ Church weaving their way through to come up to Guinness, a fair few not a huge amount to be honest”.

The St. James’s Gate brewery, although not significantly influential on the Liberties area makes efforts to be part of the Liberties community and work closely with local residents and groups. “We are proud to be part of the Liberties community and make every effort to work with the local community, for example the St Nicholas of Myra Historical Society, D8CEC (Dublin 8 Community Education Centre), Digital Hub, NCAD and Guinness Enterprise Centre,” said a spokesperson for the Guinness Storehouse.

In addition to a €153 million expansion of the brewery, Guinness recently launched its ‘Gathering 2013’ campaign, their Ambassador Programme as part of the year of ‘The Gathering’, an initiative which aims to invite everybody home to Ireland in 2013 for hundreds of events taking place.

As part of their ‘Gathering 2013’ campaign, which is expected to attract 300,000 additional tourists to Ireland this year, the Storehouse has offered Irish residents the chance to sign up to receive one of 50,000 Guinness Storehouse Gathering Ambassador cards, which entitles card holders to free admission to the Guinness Storehouse throughout 2013.

Speaking about the campaign, a spokesperson for the Guinness Storehouse said “Everyone who lives in Ireland is entitled to apply for a card and of course that includes everyone who lives in the Liberties – who better to act as Ambassadors for the Storehouse than those who live in the local community,” added the spokesperson.

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