The closure of Bunratty Castle and King John’s Castle from 31st August is a further blow to our Mid West tourism sector which is already reeling from the collapse of international tourist arrivals.
King John’s Castle and Bunratty Castle are iconic visitor attractions not just for foreign travellers but also for domestic holidaymakers. As local tourism and associated businesses are working hard to return to a level of normality, the announcement that both attractions will be closing is an untimely and damaging blow to the sector and inadvertently sends the wrong message when we are trying hard to develop and support the tourism offering in the region.
Limerick already lags significantly behind other regions in terms of domestic visitors. Most recent figures show Cork and Galway each welcomed over one million domestic tourists in 2018 by comparison to 284,000 visitors to Limerick.
Limerick Chamber urges Shannon Heritage to explore all available options to reverse this decision and to redouble efforts to win tourism for the region in the shoulder periods of this year. We need to declare Limerick is open for business right now and not the contrary.