My goodness, my Guinness had a great year in 2016
Visits to Guinness Storehouse topped 1.6m in bumper year for Irish tourist attractions
The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Other popular visitor attractions in 2016 were the National Gallery of Ireland, The Irish Museum of Modern Art and the National Botanic Gardens. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Guinness is good for tourist numbers and the allure of the pint of plain is still the only man for visitors, with trips to the Guinness Storehouse jumping by 10 per cent to more than 1.6 million last year, according to new figures from Fáilte Ireland.
The tourist authority’s annual list of Ireland’s top visitor attractions points to a bumper 2016, with most of the top attractions – both free and fee-paying – recording strong growth over the course of the year.
All told, 1,647,408 people bought tickets to the Guinness Storehouse in 2016, and with a full price adult ticket costing €20, revenues from ticket sales alone topped €30 million.
The National Gallery of Ireland was once again the most popular free tourist attraction in the State, with visitor numbers increasing by 5 per cent to 755,577, substantially ahead of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Imma) which recorded visitor numbers of 584,856 – a jump of 20 per cent year-on-year.
Just behind Imma was the National Botanic Gardens with visitor numbers of 583,539, while Doneraile Wildlife Park was in fourth with 480,000 visitors. The National Museum of Ireland finished in fifth place with 479,261 coming through its doors.
“Our visitor attractions are a great barometer for tourism activity, and the growth across most attractions reflects a record tourism year,” said Fáilte Ireland’s chief executive, Paul Kelly. “This growth can be even stronger if we all work together to unlock the further potential of our natural landscapes and built heritage.”
He pointed to the sea cliffs at Sliabh Liag and said they had “a similar appeal as the Cliffs of Moher – yet the latter receives eight times as many visitors. This is just one example of the many of our attractions and natural assets which have the potential to generate even more visitors, revenue and jobs for local communities.”