Giant’s Causeway in Ireland establishes itself on the global tourism list for travelers
For twelve consecutive years, the Skal International “Sustainable Development in Tourism” Awards have been presented during the Opening Ceremony of its annual World Congress. Skal recently closed its 74th World Congress aboard the Carnival Glory, the first time this yearly event took place on a cruise ship. This year, the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland won an award in the category of Major Tourist Attractions.
For centuries, people have flocked to the world famous Giant’s Causeway on the north coast of Northern Ireland. It is a geological wonder which has now become firmly established on the global tour list for travelers. With over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, it is the result of intense volcanic and geological activity and forms a dramatic landscape filled with myths and legends.
After the previous visitor centre was destroyed by fire a new world class visitor centre was needed for Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site. An international design competition was won by renowned architects, Heneghan Peng and Event was commissioned to design the displays and interpretation for the site.
The new Visitor Centre is an essential gateway to the wider World Heritage Site. It explains how the Giant’s Causeway was formed and highlights the essential conservation work of the National Trust. Visitors gain a deeper insight into the myths and legends of bygone days and discover the stories of the people who live in and around the Causeway today. There is also the chance to connect with and learn more about the local people for whom the Causeway Coast provides an important livelihood.
The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre opened to the public July 3, 2012 and since then, has gone from strength to strength – welcoming more than 780,000 visitors in its first year of operation.
The new centre has picked up a host of awards after a successful first year including:
• Five Star Visitor Attraction Rating from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board
• Sustainable Project of the Year 2012 by Sustainable Ireland
• Go Awards 2012 Visitor Attraction of the Year
• NI Travel and Tourism Awards – Best NI Visitor Attraction 2012
• NITB NI Tourism Awards – Visitor Inspired Award 2012
• Sandford Education Award 2012
It has also been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building.
For more information, go to http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giantscauseway