Skellig Michael sees huge surge in visitor numbers; Anne Lucey; Irish Times


Ireland – Sceilg Mhichíl

Heritage site came to global prominence after Star Wars scene.

Skellig Michael off the coast of Kerry has seen a huge surge in visitor numbers, according 2016 figures released by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

The fragile monastic site which has come to huge global prominence with the filming of Star Wars scenes, saw almost 14,700 people land on the island – well above the figure considered sustainable in the current Unesco approved management plan for the island .

The OPW said the 2016 figure was “exceptional” and due to good weather during the mid-May to October visitor season. However if the rise continues, there would be concern about the Skellig’s ability to absorb such numbers, it said in response to questions.

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