Hook Lighthouse is presently the most popular tourist attraction in Wexford and the third most popular in the South East region, coming in third after the Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny Castle respectively.
The number of visitors booking and enjoying a tour of the world’s oldest original operating lighthouse increased by 6% during 2018 resulting in a total of over 50,000 people enjoying a guided tour of Hook Lighthouse during the year.
In total, during the year 262,374 people enjoyed a visit to the Hook Lighthouse Visitor Centre and Café a figure that also increased by 5.5% compared to 2017.
Commenting on the hugely positive year, Manager at Hook Lighthouse Ann Waters said; “We are delighted with another positive growth year for Hook Lighthouse, reaching and exceeding the momentous number of 50,000 visitors purchasing tickets to access to the lighthouse tower is a real milestone. We also have a great growth in overall visitor number to the lighthouse and Café, many of these visitors are attracted by our robust festivals and events schedule plus we have concentrated on really upping our offering in the café with a brand new brunch menu and a full day long menu with great focus on local and artisan food producers and we know this has been a real hit.”
During 2018 Hook Lighthouse was the only Irish tourism attraction shortlisted and commended at the British Guild of Travel Writers World Tourism Awards 2018. The attraction is also currently shortlisted for ‘Ireland’s Favourite Local Attraction’ category in the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2019 plus the newly developed Sunset Tour and Food Experience is presently in the top five shortlist for the ‘Best Food and Beverage Experience’ category in the Failte Ireland Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2019.
71% of visitors to Hook Lighthouse are from across Ireland with 29 % arriving to tour the lighthouse from across the world. The number of visitors from the USA overtook the UK for the first-time last year at 9%, 7% of visitors were from the UK with 10% from the rest of Europe and the remaining 3% from the rest of the world.
In 2019 Hook Lighthouse has some major plans in place to further grow the business and the visitor experience at the attraction. A brand-new Eco Education Station will be officially opened in early summer, a new play area will also be opened, and a host of festivals, events and premium experiences will be on offer year-round along with later opening for the months of July and August 2019.
Up next is the free Imbolc festival which is set to take place during the first weekend of February. The festival offers a variety of free talks, workshops, poetry sessions, a Sunrise Tour and Food Experience and two evening concerts with Brian Kennedy, for further details see www.hookheritage.ie