Released: 18 May 2012
The Minister for Tourism, Mr. Leo Varadkar, T.D., will today (1.30pm) officially open the new Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre in Ballyard, Tralee. The €4.5m project which focuses on the internationally famous Tralee Bay ecosystem is expected to attract up to 70,000 visitors per annum to the Kerry capital. The project was a long term objective of Tralee Town Council and made possible by a €3m product development grant from Fáilte Ireland.
The new Centre will appeal to families, touring groups and general tourists, according to Centre Manager Joanie McAuliffe. The 25 acre site adjoins the world famous Tralee Bay Nature Reserve and is divided into two zones – an activity zone with light watersports lake and nature zone which includes among its features a safari boat ride through the freshwater wetlands and access to a 20 metre high viewing tower offering spectacular views of Tralee Bay and Tralee Town. There was excitement at the centre earlier this week when 7 cygnets were hatched to a mute swan couple that have taken up residency near the watersports lake.
Minister Varadkar will be welcomed to the Wetlands Centre by the Mayor of Tralee Cllr. Grace O’Donnell, who describes this as a historic day for Tralee. “This is a major vote of confidence in Tralee, the wetlands centre will attract visitors to the town all year-round and help secure and grow the 600 plus jobs employed in the local tourism industry.”