Tourism or heritage - Balance needed

Tourism is one of the industries that contribute significantly to our economy, so we should be aware of trends in the wider world of tourism, especially those that might represent a threat to the goose that lays the golden egg.

Tourism or heritage - Balance needed

In some European cities — Barcelona, Venice and Paris and others — locals have begun to protest at the unrelenting intrusion of tourists on their lives.

Even the best-equipped venue can cope with only so many visitors.

It was announced yesterday that the Office of Public Works (OPW) may extend the visitor season to Skellig Michael, the Unesco world heritage site off Kerry.

It is hard to imagine

settings more unalike than the Skelligs and St Mark’s Square in Venice, but they are both captives of tourist expectations.

Any proposal to extend the tourist year on Skellig should be treated with the kind of sensitivity that balances commercial and heritage interests — even if that means curtailing visits.

Indeed it may be time to review how we present so many historical sites, especially the magnificent Clonmacnoise, to the world to better reflect the core values they represented.

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