By Kyle Lehane
Fáilte Ireland has today published its' annual list of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions, which shows that almost all our key attractions enjoyed another bumper year for visitors in 2017.
Topping the list of free attractions, the National Gallery of Ireland surpassed the 1m visitor mark for the first time, experiencing an impressive 41% growth. This was particularly helped by the reopening of its permanent collection halfway through the year.
The most popular paid attraction remains the Guinness Storehouse, with a total of 1,711,281 visitors through its doors, up 64,000 on the previous year. The Cliffs of Moher and Dublin Zoo came in second and third place in the same category.
Dublin,as expected, leads the lists, with four of the top five paid attractions and seven of the top 10 free attractions located in the city and county.
Overall, the top five paid attractions during 2017 were:
1. Guinness Storehouse - 1,711,281
2. Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience – 1,527,000
3. Dublin Zoo – 1,264,300
4. National Aquatic Centre – 1,099,756
5. Book of Kells - 983,410
Ireland’s top free attractions for 2017 were:
1. The National Gallery of Ireland – 1,065,929
2. Castletown House Parklands – 666,541
3. Glendalough Site – 639,826
4. National Botanic Gardens – 569,652
5. DLR LexIcon (Dun Laoighaire Rathdown) – 525,708
The figures will be a boost to those who benefit from the tourism industry as the figures suggest that the number of tourists isn't decreasing.
Fáilte Ireland provided capital funding of €22m for tourism projects in 2017, contributing to a record year for visitors, it said.
“We invest in new and compelling attractions throughout the country because we know that they bring visitors from around the world to our shores," added its Director of Product Development, Orla Carroll.