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    We helped Dublinia increase visitor numbers by working with them to update and enhance their tourism product. Take a look at our case study to discover how.


    Viking house interior in Dublinia project

    Background

    Dublinia is a not-for-profit visitor heritage attraction, established in 1993 by The Medieval Trust. In 2007, the Dublinia product, while performing well (over 100,000 visitors a year) and in an excellent location, was in need of upgrading and enhancement.

    The voluntary board of trustees devised a five year strategic plan outlining its objectives and targets, one of which was reinvestment in the Dublinia product. In 2008, the trust applied to Fáilte Ireland for funding under the Tourism Capital Investment Programme and was successful in its application.

    Fáilte Ireland provided funding for the upgrading of the facilities and exhibitions at Dublinia.

    Key players involved

    • Fáilte Ireland – product development team, supporters, overseers and financial backers of the project
    • Bank – loan finance providers to the project
    • Dublinia’s visitors – visitor and market research fed into the design process
    • The voluntary board of trustees – comprising both leading academics and business professionals
    • The Dublinia management and staff
    • The architectural design  team and lead contractor
    • The interpretative design team and lead contractor
    • The exhibition design sub-committee under the guidance of trustee Prof. Howard Clarke

    Action taken

    • Construction of new entrance foyer with replica Viking Ship
    • Relocation and upgrade of both the Viking and Medieval Exhibitions
    • Development of new History Hunters exhibition with Dublinia Dig Room
    • Installation of new toilets and coffee shop. Shop upgrade.

    Achievements to date

    • Visitor reaction to the new Dublinia product has scored well on each of the key yardsticks set out to measure the product, with an overall satisfaction rating of 81% in the high 8 – 10 score.
    • Visitor numbers increased in 2010 and 2011, a tendency which was against the overall trend at that time.
    • Word of mouth recommendations have increased, with 98% of visitors interviewed in 2011 advising that they would recommend Dublinia to others.

    Next steps

    The board of trustees is committed to ensuring Dublinia’s long-term future as a major visitor attraction. Dublinia must therefore retain and increase its performance as a ‘recommended’, quality and enjoyable product. The board will continue to work to prolong the product life-cycle by continuously upgrading, enhancing and adding to Dublinia.
     

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