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    Augmented reality and interactive experiences set to open across Ireland’s Ancient East

    Augmented reality and interactive experiences set to open across Ireland’s Ancient East

    First of 19 projects opens at Bishop’s Palace in Waterford through €2.3m Fáilte Ireland investment scheme

    Cutting-edge technology and interactive experiences will be unveiled at visitor attractions across Ireland’s Ancient East over the coming months following a €2.3million investment from Fáilte Ireland.

    The first of 19 projects co-funded by Fáilte Ireland will be opened today at the magnificent Bishop’s Palace in Waterford by the Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation John Halligan T.D. 

    ‘Masterpieces in Glass’ is a new 4D experience which brings to life the history of glassmaking in Waterford.  Using augmented reality, visitors can explore rare objects used in glassmaking in the county over three centuries.

    Fáilte Ireland research shows visitors want high impact attractions that they can ‘immerse’ themselves in.  In essence, they want to ‘live’ the story which means more hands-on experiences that bring sites, local culture and heritage to life. Fáilte Ireland launched the Ireland’s Ancient East Storytelling Interpretation Investment Scheme in 2017 to transform the quality of interpretation, animation and storytelling at existing heritage and visitor attractions throughout Ireland’s Ancient East.

    Welcoming the Fáilte Ireland investment, Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Waterford T.D., John Halligan said:

    “Ireland’s Ancient East attracts visitors from across the country and overseas thanks to its rich history and culture. Waterford is an integral part of Ireland’s Ancient East, and I’m delighted to unveil the new Masterpieces in Glass experience at the amazing Bishop’s Palace today which will help to raise the county’s profile as a culturally-rich destination. Investment like this from Fáilte Ireland has been fundamental in developing tourism in Waterford and I look forward to seeing more innovative projects like this opening over the coming year.”

    Head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland, Jenny De Saulles, said:
    “The Ireland’s Ancient East regional experience brand is driving a more regional spread of visitors and is making a significant impact on tourism across the east of the country, delivering increased visitor numbers and creating jobs. Central to this has been the creation of compelling and world-class visitor experiences that attract international tourists actively looking for hands-on ways to discover local and heritage. What is most valuable to visitors is the chance to participate, and not simply be bystanders.  At Fáilte Ireland, we are always looking for opportunities to stimulate the development of brilliant visitor experiences, and the Masterpieces in Glass experience is testament to what can be achieved through investment and innovation. This is just one of 19 projects set to open following funding from our Ireland’s Ancient East Storytelling Interpretation grants scheme – each project brings to life local heritage culture and will really help to transform the tourism appeal of each area.”

    The new ‘Masterpieces in Glass’ visitor experience, located in the 18th century Bishop’s Palace, was co-funded by Fáilte Ireland (€200,000), and Waterford City & County Council working with Emagine, a local creative agency.

    Eamonn McEneaney, Director of Waterford Treasures, commented:

    “This extraordinarily generous grant from Fáilte Ireland through the Ireland’s Ancient East brand has allowed us to transform our offering into a very exciting and memorable visitor experience, the likes of which has not been seen before in Ireland. It will create a dynamic synergy between the Museum and House of Waterford Crystal for which Waterford city is world-famous and give our visitors a world-class visitor experience.”

    This new 4D experience will be made available in French and Mandarin, which will increase Waterford’s attractiveness to the international visitor. It will complement the already successful visitor attraction in the House of Waterford Crystal, which attracts almost a quarter of a million visitors annually.

    The Ireland’s Ancient East Storytelling Interpretation Grants scheme is one of a number of Fáilte Ireland investment programmes to benefit visitor attractions across Ireland.

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