Taste Destination Europe!

Europe is the world’s number one tourist destination. Representing 10% of EU GDP and 12% of total employment, tourism is a major pillar of the European economy, with a hugely positive impact on growth, jobs, and regional development. And #SpiritsTourism is among the latest exciting, fast-growing trends, offering a wide range of distinctive leisure experiences across Europe, and especially in rural areas.

50 years after Glenfiddich became the first distillery visitor centre to open its gates in 1969, #SpiritsTourism is becoming more dynamic and innovative, pouring up unforgettable ways to savour the diversity of spirit-making across Europe and the passion of the people behind it. Last year saw record numbers flock to distilleries across Europe: 2 million visitors to Scotch whisky distilleries, 1.6 million spirit tourists in France, almost 1 million in Ireland where #SpiritsTourism driven by Irish Whiskey is expected to double in the next 5 years! In Finland, one small remote town alone - Isokyrö – with a population of just 4,700 inhabitants, welcomed 14,000 tourists to its local distillery last year(Kyrö).

Spirits tourism refers to a wide range of experiences, allowing people to discover first-hand the regions in which spirits are produced, including distilleries, museums or local festivals dedicated to spirits and gastronomy (check by yourself here what we have for your country…). By exploring the incredible variety of spirits produced, visitors can get a real taste of Europe’s rich cultural, culinary, and gastronomic landscape. They will encounter passionate women and men with unique and centuries-old know-how: from the cooper to the master distiller; from Maître de Chais to the bar tender, they are all ambassadors of a truly European lifestyle - or shall I say they are all “Protecting our European Way of Life” – celebrating local and regional diversity as part of our common heritage. 

As the spirits sector, we are fully committed to contribute to the sustainable growth of tourism in Europe and positively shape the EU’s role as a world leader in tourism in the years ahead. As a result, spiritsEUROPE recently signed the European Tourism Manifesto for Growth & Jobs, a document which highlights the EU policy priorities for the sector in the coming years.

Creating a bright, sustainable future for #SpiritsTourism is a collective task. Our members are working closely with local communities, national governments, agencies, hotels, restaurants, pubs & cafés to create new, unique tourism opportunities and drive the future success of #SpiritsTourism in Europe.

We invite you to share on Twitter @spiritsEUROPE your experience, stories and anecdotes (@spiritsEUROPE) using #SpiritsTourism #SpiritOfEurope.