Hook Lighthouse was a victim of its own success last year with visitors queuing for up to two hours at times to take a tour — so this year online ticketing has been introduced.
The oldest operational lighthouse in the world had its busiest year yet in 2016, with year-on-year growth of 10% and more than 250,000 visitors. August alone accounted for 38,617 of those.
Now, management of the Co Wexford facility aim to alleviate queues with advance booking of guided tours via hookheritage.ie.
“Some of those who visited, particularly during the peak summer period, waited for over two hours to avail of a tour of the 800 year old lighthouse,” manager Ann Waters said. “So we wanted to alleviate that inconvenience for our visitors and allow them to book a specific tour date and time online in advance of their visit to us.”
Hook Lighthouse has registered double-digit growth over the last couple of years, on par with Ireland’s top attractions, and is now the most popular tourism attraction in Wexford and the third-most visited in the southeast after the Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny Castle.
“We work very hard every day to ensure our visitors enjoy a great experience and this helps us to reap rewards with top Tripadvisor scores and online reviews,” said Ms Waters.
“However, as an 800-year-old protected medieval structure of limited size, the maximum capacity for each tour is 30 persons. Therefore, the ability for visitors to book online in advance of arriving at the lighthouse will provide huge benefits not only to our visitors but also for our team.”
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