By Kim O’Leary
The Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin and Fáilte Ireland last Thursday announced a total investment of €18.1 million to develop a new a state-of-the-art flight simulator ‘This is Ireland’ in Dublin’s North City Centre.
Fáilte Ireland is investing €10 million into the project.
Over the first five years of operation this project will generate €48 million in direct tourism expenditure supporting 1,336 jobs in the area and 17 new jobs will be created at the attraction.
‘This Is Ireland’ aims to develop and launch a new innovative visitor attraction to the Irish market. It is already a hugely successful tourist attraction of scale in Amsterdam and Vancouver.
The attraction is an immersive experience consisting of multiple shows, with its principal feature being a simulated flight experience.
‘This Is Ireland’ allows guests to experience the story of Ireland in a breath-taking and engaging way. In an “edutainment” manner they will learn about Irish history, discover the Ireland of today and prepare for the ultimate finale – the flight using state-of-the-art flight simulation and audio-visual technology.
The Dublin project is just one of four projects announced by Minister Martin as part of a €73 million investment programme under Fáilte Ireland’s Platforms for Growth Investment Grants Scheme for Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions.
Fáilte Ireland is investing €44.3 million and a total match funding of €29 million from public and private project partners.
Attractions in Cavan, Donegal and Mayo were also successful applicants under the scheme.
Up to 8,000 direct and indirect jobs are set to be created and sustained across the regional economy over the next 10 years as a result of this investment and it’s expected over €290 million will be generated from domestic and international visitors.
Fáilte Ireland’s economic analysis states every €1 million spent by tourists helps to supports 27 jobs in the Irish tourism sector.
Minister Catherine Martin said: “This investment in creative and impactful large-scale visitor experiences is critical to strengthening Ireland’s reputation internationally as a must-visit holiday destination and provides a catalyst for further innovation in the tourism sector.
“This is the most significant investment in visitor attractions ever undertaken by Fáilte Ireland that will have far-reaching national and regional economic benefits.”
Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland added: “Driving regional tourism growth has always been a key priority for Fáilte Ireland but it is now more important than ever as we rebuild the sector and recover from the devastation of Covid19. The aim of the Platforms for Growth 1 funding scheme is to grow Ireland’s stock of large-scale visitor attractions to appeal to both domestic and international visitors.
“The standard of applications received for this scheme was incredibly high and we are encouraged by the level of innovation and creativity demonstrated. The four awarded projects are truly best-in-class. They are diverse, engaging and unique and will help visitors connect with Ireland and bring the country’s vibrant culture, heritage and people to life.”
The projects awarded funding under Platforms for Growth 1 were strategically selected under strict eligibility criteria that displayed the greatest potential for economic impact in their region.