Thursday, 20 June 2019

Ceisteanna (31)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

31. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to promote the Office of Public Works heritage card scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25826/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Currently, the OPW sells Heritage Cards through a number of channels, the primary ones being by telephone from its Visitor Services administration centre and at its Guided visitor sites around the country.   Cards are valid for 1 year from the date of first use and are offered in a number of categories:

- Adult  (€40)

- Senior  (€30)

- Child (12 - 18)  (€10)

- Family.   (€90)

The Heritage Card is very popular, regarded as good value for money by visitors and has sold in the region of approx. 14,500 units annually over the past few years.  

The OPW considers that there is a continuing place for the Annual Heritage Card, particularly among the domestic visitor group and has no plans at this stage to discontinue offering it.   However, understanding that some visitors regard the Annual Card as excessive for their needs, OPW is currently developing a product more suited to the short stay visitors coming from abroad in particular.   This version, entitled the Holiday Heritage Card, will be valid for 4 weeks only and will be sold at a lower price point than the annual card.   OPW expects that this will be of more interest to those visitors who are in the country for a limited duration and who will perhaps feel that they are not getting the maximum value out of the current 52 week offering.  

It is intended that the Holiday Heritage Card will continue to be offered through the usual channels alongside the annual version.  It will also be marketed and retailed online on the OPW's newly relaunched heritageireland.ie website when that is complete later in the year.   Additionally, it will be marketed through the print advertising channels and social media sites employed by the OPW to raise awareness of Heritage sites in its care and to promote them as visitor destinations.