AWAKING from their winter hibernation the Marble Arch Caves are getting ready to re-open for the new tourist season. There hasn’t been a dull moment for the staff of the Geopark during their off –peak season at the UNESCO Global Geopark.
“We have tilers, carpenters, electricians-all sorts of tradesmen coming and going over the past few weeks helping us get ready for our opening next week,” said Sean Corrigan.
The Marble Arch Caves attracted 53,118 visitors from across the world last season and they are hoping for similar numbers this year. This figure doesn’t include the number of people who visited the other sites in the Geopark.
In such a highly competitive tourism market the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is also making efforts to enhance the visitor experience, by introducing new technologies improving the visitor centre and the cave tour itself. Attention is also being paid to pathways and other infrastructure to make the cave tour less susceptible to prolonged heavy rain, an unfortunate regular feature of our Irish Summer.
They are developing additional office space, extending the existing car park and installing a waste wood heating system. This work is well underway and is due to be finished in July. The work is financed by a cross -border INTERREG IVA project involving Fermanagh District Council as a partner.
Richard Watson, Manager of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is looking forward to another successful year and is delighted the area continues to attract foreign interest.
“We are delighted to welcome back about 20,000 German Visitors to the Marble Arch Caves throughout the length of the season.”
He also reminded visitors that the Geopark is much more than just the show caves.
“In conjunction with the Forest Service, we have developed numerous walking trails in the Geopark including the Magho Cliff walk . This walk will get the heart pumping as you are literally walking up the edge of Magho Cliffs, When you reach the top, there are panoramic views of Lower Lough Erne, Sperrin and Bluestack mountains, Slieve League and even the Atlantic ocean.” This work was financed by SWARD and INTERREG IVA .
There will be many events and activities taking place in the different sites throughout the year. The caves officially open on March 16 and will be open throughout the season . For further information on the range of events, activities and of course cave tours , you can visit their website at www.marblearchcaves.net or call 028 66348855.
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