Ireland’s tourist attractions recovered last year, but visitor numbers are still down 45% from pre-Covid levels, according to Fáilte Ireland.
New figures show a resurgence in tourist numbers to many of the country’s most popular attractions in 2021, compared to 2020, which fell by almost 60% to pre-pandemic levels.
The breakdown of the figures is included in Fáilte Ireland’s latest tourist attraction survey. The study details visit figures for 375 top tourist attractions across the republic.
This includes 95 facilities operated by the Department of Public Works. Examples include the Bruna Boone Centre, Newgrange, County Meath, Skellig Michael, County Kerry, and the Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary.
Fáilte Ireland did not conduct a survey in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.na
According to the report, 85% of all attractions were open last year, compared to 79% in 2020.
In the first year of the pandemic, only 8% of attractions were open year-round.
Most of the attractions that opened at some point last year were closed from January to March due to Level 5 restrictions.
In both 2020 and 2021, more paid attractions have opened compared to free attractions. The survey also highlighted the heavy reliance on the domestic market for tourist attractions, with Irish making up 83% of his total visitors last year.
Dublin’s attractions have the highest percentage of international visitors, with 38% of the total. In contrast, only 5% of visitors to Ireland’s ‘Hidden Heartland’ attraction, which covers the counties of Midlands, were foreigners.
The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin was Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction in 2019, with 1.7 million visitors.
Damaged during the pandemic and closed for six months last year, that number has dropped to 236,352.
dublin zoo is the most popular paid attraction in the country in 2021, with 978,000 visitors. The Phoenix Park Visitor Center is the most popular free attraction, with 1.8 million visitors.
The only other attraction to record over one million visitors was the grounds of Castletown House in Celbridge, County Kildare, with 1.07 million.
Historic sites are the most common type of tourist attraction nationwide, accounting for 37% of the total. However, museums and galleries form the largest category of attractions in Dublin, accounting for his 42% of all places of interest to visitors to the capital.