Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is the most visited attraction in Ireland during a record year for tourist industry

The Guinness Storehouse Gate
The Guinness Storehouse Gate The Guinness Storehouse Gate

THE GUINNESS Storehouse in Dublin is the most visited attraction in Ireland during a record year, tourism figures reveal.

More than 1.7 million people looked round the home of Ireland's most famous stout in 2017, according to Fáilte Ireland's annual list of Ireland's most popular visitor attractions.

The National Gallery of Ireland, which heads the list of `free to enter' attractions, passed the one million visitor mark for the first time in its history with an impressive 41 per cent growth.

This has been attributed in large part to the reopening of its permanent collection halfway through the year, as well as two major exhibitions of Caravaggio and Vermeer.

However, it was only the fifth most popular visitor hotspot, with people choosing fee-charging attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Dublin Zoo and the National Aquatic Centre ahead of free days out.

Across the island, the Giant's Causeway, the north's most popular attraction, is sixth on the `most visited' list of super tourism sites.

Fáilte Ireland works with attractions across the country, helping to increase their visitor numbers and improve visitor experiences through a range of funding schemes and training programmes.

Director of Product Development, Orla Carroll, welcomed another record year of growth.

"Fáilte Ireland invests in new and compelling attractions throughout the country because we know that they bring visitors from around the world to our shores," she said.

"Over the course of 2017 alone, Fáilte Ireland provided capital funding of over €22m for a variety of tourism projects, helping to drive growth in every part of Ireland for the coming years.

"With continued investment like this, and through our work with partners across the country, we look forward to ongoing growth for tourism and to seeing new sites feature on the top attractions list."

Ireland's Top Visitor Attractions

1. Guinness Storehouse - 1,711,281 (+4%)

2. Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience - 1,527,000 (+7%)

3. Dublin Zoo - 1,264,300 (+10%)

4 National Aquatic Centre - 1,099,756 (+6%)

5. The National Gallery of Ireland – 1,065,929 (+41%)

6. Giant's Causeway - 1,012,000 (n/a)

7. Book of Kells - 983,410 (+10%)

8. Titanic Belfast - 760,000 (n/a)