Explore / What is Irelands Experience Economy

300,000 people work hard as part of Ireland’s world-beating Experience Economy which is worth €4 billion to the Irish economy. Ibec’s More than Meets the Eye campaign, outlines the economic importance of the Experience Economy which brings us deep into a supply chain of businesses that employs hundreds of thousands of people across the island of Ireland to deliver world-class experiences. It encompasses hospitality, retail, travel, food, drink, tourism, entertainment, technology, events and organisations in the arts, cultural, sporting and heritage sectors.

Download / Ibec's report on The Experience Economy

The Irish Experience Economy is a vast interconnected ecosystem that encompasses thousands of businesses across multiple sectors.

Ibec is helping companies in the Experience Economy by influencing government to improve competitiveness, supporting future skills and sustainable practices. Along with key Ibec trade associations and our Experience Economy policy committee which represents a strong cross section of companies, we are shaping business conditions for sustainable long term success.

Our report - The Experience Economy - More than meets the Eye sets out a vision for creating the conditions for the Experience Economy to achieve world class potential that is sustainable and uniquely Irish. This report provides insights into the value of the Experience Economy, key findings from an Ibec survey and key policy actions to address challenges faced in the areas of labour market and competitiveness, skills and education, digitalisation, innovation, and sustainability.

Download here

The Experience Economy  / What our members say

Get in touch

For more than 30 years, Ibec and its 39 trade associations have delivered results for key sectors of the Irish Economy. We support thousands of businesses of every size, spanning every sector of the economy.

Together with our 39 trade associations, we promote a positive business environment in Ireland by campaigning for evidence-based policies that are formulated in consultation with our members.

For any questions or enquiries, please call us on 01 605 1500 or

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Experience Economy / Frequently asked questions

The Experience Economy comprises of businesses and a workforce which operate across multiple sectors in Ireland as well as encompassing organisations in the arts, cultural, sporting, and heritage sectors. Across its domain are hospitality, retail, travel, food, drink, tourism, entertainment, events and activity combining together to deliver transformative experiences to visitors. It brings us deeper than the surface of traditional ‘front of house,’ reaching into the supply chain with very many ancillary suppliers and contractors along with a crucial interdependency with our indigenous food and drink industry. Underpinning it is a diverse and dedicated workforce with the very many ancillary suppliers, contractors, and services and a crucial interdependency with our indigenous food industry. The Experience Economy, and the people that power it, go beyond the function of providing a commodity but instead thrive and compete on the basis of experience.

Overall on the Island the Experience Economy employed around 420,000 people directly or indirectly prior to the crisis that is one in five people on the island of Ireland.

Before the pandemic, it comprised of €4.5 billion in wages, salaries and employment taxes every year. Up until 2020, spending in the Experience Economy accounted for more than one euro in every three euro spent by a household in Ireland. This compares to the one euro in every four euro in the EU as a whole.

€4 billion spent by the Experience Economy every year on purchases of goods and services, including over €1 billion in purchases from domestic food and drink suppliers.

Overseas visitors spent €5.6 billion in Ireland in 2019, with Irish domestic tourism accounting for a further €2.1 billion.


Representing the Irish Experience Economy

With an international reputation for offering exceptional experiences to visitors and residents like, Ireland’s Experience Economy is a dynamic, diverse and a substantial part of our distinctive business model. We’re sharing your stories with policymakers, media and the public-at-large through our campaigning. We’re supporting business to learn from each other in the areas of skills, AI, digitalisation and sustainability through our forums, networking, and research.

Browse our larger Trade Associations that support the Experience Economy.

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