In a shock finding, a new survey by the pub owners of Ireland has revealed that pubs are the second most important tourist attraction for visitors to Ireland.

The survey was carried out by marketing firm iReach interviewed 500 tourists from the USA, Germany, Canada, France and the UK.

57% said that culture and heritage were the main reason for their visit while, close behind, 54% said they were coming to Ireland so they could go to the pub.

In another shock Noreen O’Sullivan, a publican in Tipperary and President of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, said that a high excise duty on alcohol was damaging the industry.

‘As it stands, excise is around 31% on beer, 68% on whiskey, and 64% on wine. These taxes are damaging our competitiveness and costing jobs,’ she said.

Only 20% said that 'green grass and countryside' was what they associated most with Ireland.