The allocation of €2.6 million Government funding to enable Shannon Heritage keep its Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John’s Castle Heritage sites open until year end is a welcome development according to Shannon Chamber, given the catalytic effect the off-season opening of these sites has on the wider tourism sector.
“If these sites closed at the end of August, as originally envisaged, the opportunity to explore and take advantage of new opportunities in the domestic market would have been lost. As with all businesses, who have had to improvise, adapt and reinvent themselves in the very unusual circumstances they have found themselves in since the onset of COVID-19, enabling the sites to remain open should give Shannon Heritage a window to adapt its products to better suit the Irish market and make them more attractive to the domestic visitor in the off season,” stated Chamber CEO Helen Downes.
“We would hope that this funding will enable autumn products that have traditionally been delivered at both sites, particularly the Halloween and Christmas events, to be continued as they are already in demand from people with young families who have supported the events in the past. The potential to deliver additional innovative products of this nature should also be examined as we need infrastructural places of interest to support the efforts of the entire tourism and hospitality sector to make this region more attractive to the visitor.
“Shannon Chamber along with all key stakeholders in the region are committed to supporting the Shannon Group in its endeavours to attract domestic tourism to the sites and, in this regard, would invite the Shannon Group to share its plans with regional stakeholders as to how the proposed funding will contribute to the sustainability of these important sites not just for the short term but for the long term. Consultation between all stakeholders will foster dialogue on how businesses can support efforts to make these heritage sites deliver positive results for the off-season,” added Ms Downes