Four Exciting New Reasons to Visit Ireland

Ireland is truly having a moment right now as a tourist destination for both locals and international visitors. The popularity of the Wild Atlantic Way - which stretches from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal at the tip of Ireland to the Kinsale, County Cork started a big tourism revival and now with Ireland’s Ancient East and Hidden Heartlands there is a strong draw for people to experience the variety that the island has to offer. Here are four exciting new reasons to visit Ireland and experience culture, heritage, craft  and history at its best... 

Galway City
Galway City

All Eyes on Galway 2020 Capital of Culture
All eyes are on Galway as the city becomes the European Capital of Culture for 2020. In a very competitive process, the city was chosen and excitement is building both in Ireland and internationally. “Galway, sited on the western edge of Europe, is Ireland’s beating cultural heart. It’s a vibrant place, with creativity embedded deep in its DNA” say the organizers. Huge numbers of international and domestic visitors are expected to converge on the city for a programme that will have themes of language, landscape and migration come to life. Structured around the old Celtic calendar of Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain, Galway 2020 begins in February and runs through until the end of January 2021. 

The Normans Have Returned!
The Normans have returned to Ireland with plans for a brand new fully immersive Norman Heritage Park on a 15-acre site in County Longford. Failte Ireland has announced funding of €640k for the settlement in Granard, due to open in 2021. The plan is to create Ireland’s only authentically recreated Norman village that brings the story of Ireland at the time of the Normans to life and it will be at the site of an original settlement that dates back to 1199. The immersive experience will transport visitors back 800 years with virtual reality and displays and activities. It will be a key feature of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. 

A Forest Haven
It cost an estimated €233m to bring Centre Parcs to Ireland and the family orientated holiday destination is now open - catering for up to 2500 guests in 466 lodges and 30 apartments across 400 acres in a forest in Longford. It’s by far the largest resort of its type in Ireland and has been described as a ‘game changer’ for Irish tourism. It’s expected to generate at least €32 million a year from Irish and international tourists and the Subtropical Swimming Paradise water park (the largest of its kind in Ireland) is the highlight - in addition  to over 100 indoor and outdoor activities on offer at the resort. 

New Atlantic Museum Galway
Fáilte Ireland has announced a record investment in a new museum for Galway. The Galway City Museum, located at the famous Spanish Arch, will undergo a €10.2m rebranding and redevelopment and will be renamed as the Atlantic Museum Galway. Fáilte Ireland will be providing €6.64m in the organisation's single biggest investment to date in a visitor attraction, with Galway City Council also funding the project. Head of Attractions with Fáilte Ireland, Mary Stack said the investment will “transform the Spanish Arch district of Galway City and is expected to generate €29.3m in revenue for the region in its first five years of opening”.
Posted on August 5, 2019

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