Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism authority, has published its listing of Ireland’s top visitor attractions for 2012. National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough Park is among the list of top free attractions, recording 99,682 visitors.
The top free attraction in the country was The National Gallery of Ireland which saw 660,486 visitors. The top fee charging attraction in 2012 was the Guinness Storehouse which had 1,087,209 visitors.
Michael Ring, Minister of State for Tourism said: “This list always makes fascinating reading, but it’s also a good reminder of the huge range of visitor attractions that we have in Ireland. People visit this country for many reasons, but they always expect a high standard of things to see and do, which is why we see the National Museum of Ireland in Turlough Park making the list.”
Commenting on the figures, Fiona Monaghan from Fáilte Ireland said: “Our visitor attractions are a big part of the tourism offering and with the increase in visitor numbers to Ireland, it is no surprise that our top attractions have also enjoyed a busy year. I have no doubt that the recent good weather will have encouraged many Irish people to get out and about and discover what is on their doorstep - next year we may be quoting even bigger numbers.”
The opportunity to experience Ireland’s culture and history is a major appeal for our overseas holidaymakers, about nine in 10 say that it is an important factor in their decision to come to Ireland on holiday. Furthermore, a similar proportion say that they are satisfied with their experience of Ireland’s history and culture.
For many such holidaymakers, their primary point of access to Ireland’s heritage is through their visits to tourist attractions - according to Fáilte Ireland’s Survey of Overseas Travellers, some two million overseas holidaymakers go to sites of historical or cultural interest every year.