Free for all: Irish tourist attractions to waive fees for first national Tourism Day
Guinness Storehouse and Cliffs of Moher among destinations to offer free admission
No king’s ransom: You won’t need to pay anything to visit King John’s Castle in Limerick on Tourism Day, as all participating attractions are free of charge. Photograph: iStockPhoto
There will be free entry to more than 100 tourist attractions across Ireland in the middle of April as part of a new tourism initiative aimed at showcasing what the country has to offer people who live here.
Old prisons, breweries, castles, cliffs and Croker will be free to access for one day only on April 17th – although people will need to register their interest before their big day out or risk losing out on it.
The idea for Tourism Day, which is being organised by the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation with support from Fáilte Ireland, is that the attractions will open their doors with give free tickets, complimentary tours and bespoke events.
The organisers hope that becoming a tourist for a day, to explore the attractions and activities on their doorsteps and across the regions, will catch the public imagination in the way Culture Night has done in recent years.
From today the public can log on to tourismday.ie to register for free tickets to the Cliffs of Moher, Malahide Castle, King John’s Castle, the GAA Museum at Croke Park, Spike Island, Guinness Storehouse, Westport House and many OPW sites, among other destinations.
Tourism is one of Ireland’s biggest industries, employing 260,000 people, or 10 per cent of the workforce. With almost 10 million overseas visitors and 12 million domestic and Northern Ireland trips in 2019, tourism generated revenue of €7.5 billion in 2019 and is critical to Ireland’s economy.
“The domestic market represents one-third of tourism revenue generated each year and supports tourism businesses across Ireland to continue trading outside peak tourism season,” said the chief executive of Fáilte Ireland, Paul Kelly. “Tourism Day will encourage Irish people to explore Ireland and experience some of the many hidden gems available across the country.”
Eoghan O’Mara Walsh of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation said the organisation had been planning the initiative “for a long time and are thrilled to see it come to fruition. Tourism Day is a chance for the public to explore a tourist attraction that they may not have visited before, or somewhere they would like to bring a friend or family member that they themselves have visited in the past.”