The Waterford Treasures collection of museums is on track to fast becoming Waterford’s most popular visitor attraction as so far this year visitor numbers have grown by 63%.
By the beginning of September 2022, the museums had attracted some 74,000 visitors since opening on January 1st 2022, representing an increase of 47,009 visitors for the same period in 2021.
The team at the museums are delighted and Museum Director Eamonn McEneaney says, “We are delighted to have welcomed the highest number ever of fee-paying visitors to the Waterford Treasures Museums.
We have had an incredible 12 months since we opened the Irish Silver Museum and the Irish Museum of Time in 2021 and focussed on sharing the delights, the treasures and the wonders of the five museums in the Viking Triangle over the last 12 months. We are thrilled to see the hard work from all of the team reaping rewards for the museums and for Waterford. We created some new ticketing models which included the freedom of Waterford ticket, which combines a walking tour and four museum visits as well as admission to Christ Church Cathedral, so we believe this growth is based on a culmination of our new museums and collections, innovative thinking and planning of our promotion carefully, which is all now paying off.
Based on Failte Ireland statistics the museum’s economic contribution to the city is valued at just over €5.8 million which is an astounding figure and demonstrates the real economic value in investing in our heritage here in Ireland’s oldest city.”
The team at Waterford Treasures are continuing to build upon the popularity and interest in Waterford Treasures Museums as they meet with tour operators and travel advisors and attend travel and trade events to promote the museums globally.
Of the 74,000 visitors who visited the museums in 2022, 57% of those were international visitors, 16% were day trippers from Ireland and the remaining 27% were Irish holidaymakers who were overnighting in Waterford and its environs.
The Waterford Treasures Museum collection includes The Bishop’s Palace, the Medieval Museum, The Irish Silver Museum, The Irish Museum of Time and the ever-popular King of the Vikings Virtual Reality Adventure, plus Reginald’s Tower.
Recently the National Museum of Time was nominated for the prestigious British Guild of Travel Writers International Tourism Awards 2022. The British Guild of Travel Writers is the UK’s leading organisation of travel media professionals. Details of the awards shortlist are set to be revealed over the coming weeks with the grand finale set to take place in London in November.
Eamonn says, “Since 2002 we have been working very hard on bringing the story of Waterford to the world. Back then, we had dreams of days like today, where visitors are booking in abundance to explore our heritage. This has been twenty years in the making but I have learned over the years to stop rushing the things that need time to grow.”
Visitors can enjoy a ‘Freedom of Waterford’ ticket enabling them to access all of the museums and a guided walking tour under one ticket price 7 days per week. For further details see www.waterfordtreasures.com