Tourism NI has awarded Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and seal sanctuary a five star visitor attraction rating.
The five-star accreditation was awarded under the Tourism NI Quality Grading Scheme which is designed to provide visitors with information on the quality of the experience they can expect at Northern Ireland’s tourist attractions, whilst assisting operators to maintain and continue to improve the quality of their offering.
Congratulating the staff on their achievement, John McGrillen, Chief Executive Tourism Northern Ireland said: “Following the recent £2million investment, Exploris is a shining example of the benefits of a public and private sector tourism business partnership.
“The redevelopment has created a vibrant conservation and educational visitor experience worthy of an outstanding visitor attraction grading”.
“Having attracted almost 180,000 national and international visitors over the past twelve months Exploris targets the important family fun visitor segment with a unique mixture of education, conservation and enjoyment. Joining an elite club of only eleven other five star graded attractions, this accolade provides an additional marketing tool to help drive visitors to, and around Northern Ireland.”
Ann Moreland, General Manager of Exploris commented; “Our team have worked exceptionally hard to create a vibrant, fun and educational visitor experience which capitalises on our location in Portaferry and on the scenic shores of Strangford Lough. We will continue to develop and innovate our offering and have plans underway for new exhibits for 2018 along with a great calendar of events.
“A major part of our five star appeal is our national seal sanctuary and in the aftermath of storm Ophelia our team have been kept extremely busy with an intake of eight grey seal pups, all in need of rehabilitation before release back to the wild”
CRG, the company that operates Exploris, now holds two five star ratings at both their Crumlin Road Gaol and Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary attraction
Exploris now joins the exclusive club of other five star attractions in Northern Ieland which includes Titanic Belfast, HMS Caroline, Crumlin Road Gaol, Giant’s Causeway, Laurel Villa Tours of Seamus Heaney Country, Long Life Surf School, Lyric Theatre, Mount Ida Pottery, Taste and Tour NI and City Tours.