Clare County Council to rejuvenate Cliffs of Moher visitor centre
Site ‘overwhelmed’ by visitor numbers which are projected to rise
Cliffs of Moher ‘rather overwhelmed’ by vistor numbers.
Clare County Council is to put in place a masterplan to rejuvenate visitor facilities at the Cliffs of Moher.
This follows the council saying that the existing visitor facilities at the Cliffs of Moher “strains to be fit for purpose” and are “rather overwhelmed” during peak times and visitor numbers are now being projected to increase to two million by 2025.
It is 12 years since the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre opened at a cost of €30 million, which provided retail, café/ restaurant and interpretative facilities and also included walkways and viewing areas at the cliffs.
However, the council is now making the case for additional visitor infrastructure, arguing that the attraction “is a victim of its own success” and was built to cater 400,000 visitors annually. That number is now at 1.5 million
The tender brief for the project states: “The infrastructure and facilities necessary to cater for this projected level of population increase need to be planned for and put in place now.
It adds: “The existing systems are now sub- standard and make increasingly difficult the delivery of a world class visitor experience.”
The council’s criticism of the existing facilities says that “visitors are put off by queues at all service points, toilets and the restaurant. At times visitors may not be able to gain entry to the visitor centre due to the crowds”.
The council also points out that the facilities “are at capacity from February through to the end of October” and this is due to the geographical location of the Cliffs of Moher, its functioning as a coach tour lunch time stop and the concentrated volume of visitors.
The council is seeing consultants to prepare a visitor experience masterplan for a rejuvenated visitor hub in a coordinated/connected approach.
The tender documentation states: “The hub and new building should be capable of providing the visitor with a gateway that will unlock a multiple of new tourist experiences in a safe and informative manner.”
The Council says that it expect the final strategy for the site to be issued in December 2020. The closing date for tenders is July 15th.