Tourism NI has awarded Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and seal sanctuary a five star visitor attraction rating.
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 fun. This accolade provides an additional marketing tool to help drive visitors to, and around Northern Ireland.”
Ann Moreland, General Manager says, “Our team have worked exceptionally hard to create a fabulous visitor experience which capitalises on our location in Portaferry, on the scenic shores of Strangford Lough. We are indeed thrilled to be awarded the prestigious five star grading from Tourism NI and will be continuing to develop and innovate our offering with plans underway for new exhibits for 2018.
Continuing, she commented, “Events provide us with the opportunity to ensure education and conservation messages are woven into our activities to enable us to inform everyone of the amazing opportunity to learn about ‘the world around us’ and help towards reducing our impact on our environment.”
A major part of Exploris’s five star appeal is our 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. When visiting, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn about the rehabilitation programme that Exploris undertakes each year with Common and Grey Seals – you can keep updated on their progress via our social media channels.
CRG, the company that operates Exploris, now holds two ‘5 star’ ratings at both their Crumlin Road Gaol and Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary attractions and joins an elite club of only eleven other five star graded attractions in Northern Ireland.
This Halloween from Saturday 28 to Tuesday 31 October we will be hosting our ‘Spooky Sea Serpents & Scarium Secrets’ event, with an ipad mini prize for the winner of our treasure trail, and spot prizes for best dressed boy and girl. Whilst face painters, trick or treaters, craft art and lots more demonstrations and feedings are scheduled across this period. So dusk off your broom sticks and fly down to Exploris for some great fun for all.