Wednesday 13 December 2017

Powerscourt Estate's new multi-lingual audio guide launched by Shane Ross

A new audio guide for visitors. Photo: Fran Veale
A new audio guide for visitors. Photo: Fran Veale

Kathy Armstrong

An innovative multi-lingual audio guide for Powerscourt Estate was launched today by Tourism Minister Shane Ross.

The number of visitors to the Co Wicklow property rose by nine per cent last year to over 250,000 and that's only set to increase further in 2017.

Powerscourt is ranked as one of Ireland's top 20 most visited tourist attractions and employs over 300 people.

The audio guide comes in five languages - English, German, Spanish, French and Chinese and it's personally narrated by the two families who have owned Powerscourt over the past 800 years - Anthony Wingfield, 11th Lord Powerscourt, and the third generation of the Slazenger family to manage the Estate and Gardens, cousins Sarah and Alex Slazenger.

They share anecdotes about the estate's colourful history, including the hundreds of people who were involved in creating the garden, plus King George IV's near-death experience at the Waterfall.

Visitors will also get to hear snippets about daily life at Powerscourt and what goes on behind the scenes.

The gardens at Powerscourt Estate in Co Wicklow
The gardens at Powerscourt Estate in Co Wicklow

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Minister Ross claimed that the guide is a great asset to the Estate.

He said: "The multilingual guides – available in English, Chinese, German, Spanish and French – are testament to Powerscourt Estate’s status as a major tourism destination, welcoming more than half a million domestic and overseas visitors to the Estate and 250,000 people to its gardens annually.

"With more than 300 people employed on Powerscourt Estate, it is a treasured national asset, drawing visitors to Wicklow and in turn supporting Wicklow’s other tourism attractions, local accommodation providers, restaurants and shops.”

Head gardener Alex Slazenger. Photo: Fran Veale
Head gardener Alex Slazenger. Photo: Fran Veale

Sarah Slazenger, MD of Powerscourt Estate also spoke at the launch about why she thinks the guides will really add to the experience of visitors.

Ms Slazenger said: "These immersive guides tell our visitors in their own language about the stories and characters that have shaped the Estate and Gardens over 800 years, providing them with a more in depth, enriching and memorable visit.

"We anticipate further growth from international markets as we respond to our changing visitor profile through multi lingual tourism experiences.”

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