Another increase in visitors to Cliffs of Moher

Another increase in visitors to Cliffs of Moher

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File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience (CoMVE) welcomed over 25,000 more people last year than in 2018 despite a drop in group tour business.

The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin continues to welcome the largest number of visitors of any other attraction in Ireland while the Cliffs of Moher are still standing tall in second place over Dublin Zoo.

The final visitor figures for the Guinness Storehouse for 2019 have confirmed that 1,732,528 people visited the St James’s Gate attraction last year. This was just 2,528 or 0.15% more than the 2018 figure of 1.7m.

Visitor numbers at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience (CoMVE) in County Clare increased by 1.58% to 1,605,131 in 2019, another record year for visitors to the iconic attraction in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Geopark. 1,580,010 visit the breath-taking cliffs in 2018.

The 214m (702 feet) high cliffs on the Wild Atlantic Way leapfrogged Dublin Zoo into second place for the first time in 2014 and has continued to increase it visitor numbers every year since.

File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

While the final figures for Dublin Zoo have not yet been published, 1,230,145 visit the Phoenix Park attraction in 2018.

Figures released by the CoMVE reveal that the Fully Independent Traveller (FIT) market showed greater growth than the group market with 56% of all visitors being FITs (up 38,225 on 2018) and group tour business is down 1.86% (-13,104) for the first time since 2010.

CoMVE online value tickets for morning and evening visits, 8am – 9pm opening times in peak season and a new visitor shuttle have yielded a 15% redistribution of total visitors into the off-peak times, resulting in improved onsite visitor experience and traffic management.

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience employs 75 staff during the peak season and is a significant employer in rural North Clare. Additionally, more than 85 staff employed by tenant companies is supported at the site.

Last year, contracts were signed by Clare County Council with Haley Sharpe Consultants to prepare a new Cliffs of Moher Strategy 2040. The consultants comprise a multi-disciplinary team who will devise the Strategy that will inform future developments at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience. This is a joint initiative between Clare County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

The strategy has been described as a fantastic opportunity for Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience to work with experts who will take a holistic perspective to develop the much needed site improvements.

Director of Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience Geraldine Enright said: “Popularity and growth is down to providing a wholistic experience, from safe pathways and viewing areas, a genuine welcome from staff, to interpretation, retail, dining and visitor services.”

Fáilte Ireland’s annual listing of top attractions, due to be published later in the year, is expected to confirm the Guinness Storehouse, Cliffs of Moher and Dublin Zoo as the county’s top three.

Today’s figures from the Cliffs of Moher come on the same day as the attraction was named the winner of the Irish Independent’s Favourite Visitor Attraction.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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