Record crowds of US and British tourists visit Hook Lighthouse in 2018
Some 108,543 people have visited Hook Lighthouse within the first six months of 2018, marking a record year for the tourist attraction.
An official footfall data report, which compiled data from January 1 to the June 30, detailed that 108,543 visitors enjoyed a trip to the lighthouse within that period and visitor details show that 35 per cent of those people were international visitors, with the remaining 65 per cent coming from all across Ireland.
Hook Lighthouse manager Ann Waters said: 'We are delighted to see a great increase in visitor numbers, but most especially from the international visitor market with growth of 7 per cent from the international market so far this year compared to 2017. Growing our international visitor numbers is an area we have been focussing on since the launch of our Ireland's Ancient East tour and more recently with our bespoke sunrise and sunset tour experiences. An increase in international visitors is not only a benefit to Hook Lighthouse but it has a much greater economic spin-off for the broader region too.'
The international visitors are mainly from the USA (12.6 per cent) and the UK (7.3 per cent) followed by Europe (11.3 per cent) and the rest of the world (3.3 per cent).
From this weekend Hook Lighthouse will open especially late to accommodate increased visitor numbers.
Earlier in 2018 Hook Lighthouse was named Ireland's number 1 'Hidden Gem' in the Irish Travel Awards. Hook Lighthouse is 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.