Emerging figures are increasingly showing what most people could sense all through last year, that 2016 proved a bumper year for tourism and visits to Dublin. The city was alive with myriad nationalities all through the past year, attracted by the major events of the 1916 Centenary Commemorations, by increasingly high profile festivals such as St Patrick’s Day, Bram Stoker Festival and NYE, and by a major push by Fáilte Ireland to promote the city under the slogan ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’.
The main figure to beat is 4.9m. That’s the estimated number of visitors to Dublin in 2015, worth a staggering 1.7bn to the local economy.
The Liberties and Dublin 8 have been at the heart of this surge in city visitors. Its been our best-ever year too. With many of the city’s top attractions based here in The Liberties or close-by in Kilmainham, city visitors are plentiful on our streets and a boon to local businesses.
The early figures are remarkable:
- 1.6m visitors to The Guinness Storehouse, the State’s most popular visitor attraction – that’s a 100,000 increase on 2015
- 100,000 visits to the Teeling Distillery on Newmarket in its first full year of operation
- Almost 600,000 visitors to St Patrick’s Cathedral and 225,000 visits to Christ Church Cathedral
- Best year yet for St Audoen’s visitor centre and Dublinia on High Street
- And neighbouring attractions in Kilmainham such as IMMA at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and Kilmainham Goal and the new Richmond Barracks Visitor Centre are also likely to see significant rises, particularly given the 1916 connections.
The Liberties Dublin project too has played its part. We ran a successful series of walks and talks in summer 2016 and 10,000 visitor maps and guides of the area were distributed to tourism centres, hotels and businesses.
That’s a good year’s work!
There’s much to look forward to in 2017. Not least the opening of the Pearse Lyons Distillery at James Street in the spring and yet another distillery at Mill Street later in the year. The Storehouse goes from success to success and the area continues to draw visitors looking for an authentic slice of Dublin life.