Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring officially opened Athlone Castle Visitor Centre – the country’s latest state-of-the-art, interactive visitor experience. The 13th century castle has undergone a dramatic renovation to become the country’s newest flagship visitor attraction. A total of €4.3million has been invested in the new tourist facility by Fáilte Ireland and Athlone Town Council.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Ring said –
“The new Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is an exciting new tourism attraction and a fantastic asset to the midlands. It will help the region attract more visitors from home and abroad, and complements existing attractions like the Luan Gallery, Athlone’s new contemporary art gallery . I want to congratulate everyone involved for bringing this project to life.”
An engaging, fun and unique family attraction, Athlone Castle includes eight individual galleries, each depicting a different aspect of life in Athlone down through the ages. Fun, hands-on experiences and educational narratives immerse visitors in the drama, tragedy and spectacle of Athlone’s diverse and fascinating story.
With recent Fáilte Ireland statistics revealing that 2.5 million or two in every five overseas visitors visited a historic house or castle- the new Centre is set to attract a considerable volume of additional tourists to the area.
Meanwhile, further good news for Athlone was confirmed by CIE Tours International who recently announced that it will include Athlone town and specifically Athlone Castle Visitor Centre, along with nearby Glasson village in its itinerary from next month. This is the first time that destinations in the midlands have been included in the company’s guided tour packages which have traditionally focused on coastal destinations. The tours will bring hundreds of additional tourists to the region throughout the tourist season. Ends.