Immersive visitor centre to attract over 7,500 additional visitors per year over five years and generate €935,000 for the local Mayo economy.
A new state-of-the-art visitor experience at the Céide Fields, which will drive tourism recovery in Mayo and along the Wild Atlantic Way, has been officially opened.
The centre is expected to generate €935,000 for the local Mayo economy.
“Investing in standout attractions that tell the rich story of Irish heritage creates new and unique reasons for visitors to choose Ireland while creating employment in rural Ireland and its urban centres”
Fáilte Ireland, the Office of Public Works and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage together have invested over €2.6m in the new immersive experience at the visitor centre, which will position the Céide Fields and north Mayo as a must visit destination along the Wild Atlantic Way route.
Jobs and revenue for Mayo
The centre is expected to attract 38,000 visitors and support 152 additional jobs in the region by Year 5 of opening, generating almost €1m in additional tourism revenue for the local economy.
The Céide Fields are a unique and extensive Neolithic archaeological site, celebrated for the complex and extensive remains of ancient field systems and habitations. The enhanced experience at the centre includes improved interpretation that tells the archaeological story of the site and its discovery.
“The Céide Fields is an extremely significant historical site, in Ireland and across the world,” said Tourism Minister Catherine Martin. “The new visitor experience will enable visitors from home and abroad to immerse themselves in the fascinating heritage of the Céide Fields and encourage more people to visit beautiful north Mayo, generating significant economic impact for the area.”
A new state-of-the-art audio-visual exhibition will draw domestic and international tourists to the site, encouraging them to learn more about the rich heritage of the region, and to explore north Mayo and its surrounds.
Hidden beneath the blanket of bog, the Céide Fields is the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world. It is a “landscape fossilised”, as poet Seamus Heaney described it in “Belderg”, of stone-walled fields, dwelling houses and megalithic monuments. There is nowhere else in the world with such evidence of how the first farmers farmed the land; only at the Céide Fields can visitors get a unique insight into the sophistication of the land management of our Neolithic farming ancestors almost 6,000 years ago.
“Investing in standout attractions that tell the rich story of Irish heritage creates new and unique reasons for visitors to choose Ireland while creating employment in rural Ireland and its urban centres,” said Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland.
“Mayo has a wealth of natural and heritage attractions and Fáilte Ireland has been collaborating with industry and stakeholders on a number of key projects which will boost the appeal of this region to domestic and international visitors alike. These include the Wild Atlantic Way Signature Discovery Point at Downpatrick Head (Dún Briste), significant developments to the wonderful Wild Nephin National Park Ballycroy, Destination Town investment in Belmullet, and now this new educational and immersive experience at the Céide Fields.
“Working under our strategic partnership with the OPW and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, this project has been executed in a sustainable way to ensure this historically important site is preserved for generations to come and adds another exciting focal point for people to come and discover along the Wild Atlantic Way.”