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Proposals Sought for Enhancing Visitor Experiences at OPW Sites

Mr. Brian Hayes, TD Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works today (25 November 2013) invited proposals from companies to provide enhanced visitor experiences at OPW sites.  The OPW manages many important historic properties such as Dublin Castle, Phoenix Park, Derrynane House, Emo Court and many others. 

The Minister said, "We have an increasing amount of visitors coming to all our wonderful attractions and we want to make sure that tourists and regular visitors alike enjoy their visit and more importantly, come back again.  Figures for 2012 show that OPW welcomed over 3.8 million visitors to our guided sites, an increase of 7.6% on 2011.  Figures for 2013 are showing a similar increase.  There is no reason why private operators cannot operate, create jobs and generate profits in sites under the control of the OPW.  The public and private sectors working together to enhance the visitor experience to our heritage sites makes sense".

The Minister continued "Clearly capital funds are in short supply, so if the private sector sees an opportunity in working by way of licence with the OPW, then everyone benefits.  Funds that can be generated by increasing commercial activities on our sites, can then be ringfenced for our heritage sites.  My Office will have an open mind with any proposal that is made.  We need to find new ways of funding heritage, which is central to improving our offering to tourists.  Using the amazing and varied heritage portfolio that the OPW has is good for jobs and good for business".

Proposals will be invited with an advert in the national press and applicants will be requested to outline how their proposals will raise the profile of heritage sites, generate increased footfall and generally be in keeping with the presentation of the site in question.

For further information please contact Colette Davis, OPW Press Officer
at 046 942 6128, 087 947 5552 or colette.davis@opw.ie