THE Shannon Chamber has become the second business organisation to urge Shannon Heritage to keep both Bunratty and King John’s Castle open.
Despite widespread protests, the semi-state company will close the two tourist attractions at the end of next month, in a move which will cost hundreds of local jobs.
Shannon Group maintains this has come about due a collapse in tourism numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, after a protest was this Monday held at the entrance to the Shannon Free Zone, the Shannon Chamber has joined the Limerick Chamber in seeking for the sites to stay open.
Shannon Chamber chief executive Helen Downes said the lobby is concerned at the closure of these State-owned assets when Ireland “needs a resilient tourism industry”.
She said: “As the larger day visitor attractions in any location are the magnets that attract visitors to that area or region, so too are they the drivers of tourism traffic to the smaller attractions, thereby giving the visitor a range of places to visit during their stay. Closure of these sites not only impacts the sites themselves but, as in Bunratty village’s case, the 600 people employed overall in the hospitality sectors.”