Visitors to the Irish FA’s Education and Heritage Centre have been giving it rave reviews on TripAdvisor and centre manager Stephen Garrett is looking to continue this great form in the year ahead.
The centre was officially opened last March by Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill and most capped player Pat Jennings and it had a great 2017, welcoming more than 7000visitors from all over the world.
Boasting a five-star TripAdvisor rating, the centre hosted visitor groups ranging from schools, youth clubs and football clubs to corporate hospitality, conferences and birthday parties.
Now Garrett has outlined exciting plans for the year ahead - and he hopes to welcome even more visitors and break in to the Top 20 visitor attractions in Belfast.
He said: “2017 was a great start for the centre. The focus was on establishing it as a great visitor attraction, and the feedback confirms that has been a success. On TripAdvisor we are currently number 33 of 233 things to do in Belfast with a five-star rating, and this year we are aiming to get in to the top 20.
“We realise the importance of continuing to evolve our offering and in 2018 we have plans to include a number of ‘tour extras’ such as gifts for visitors and a tunnel sound system where you will be able to hear the roar of the famous GAWA.”
The centre has a number of trusted volunteer tour guides who have received extensive training to deliver a top visitor experience.
Garrett continued: “Volunteers are key to the success of the centre. Their passion, commitment and knowledge of football in Northern Ireland is second to none and I’d like to thank them all for their role in our success so far.”
The centre, which is housed within the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast, tells the unique story of Northern Ireland football using a variety of media, interactive displays and key artefacts from the 1880s to the present day.
Visitors are able to relive the atmosphere of famous nights, gain insights into the drama on and off the pitch and feel the rush of emotions shared by everyone inside the stadium - win, lose or draw.
The centre showcases the Irish FA’s vision of promoting, fostering and developing football for all in Northern Ireland and Garrett is looking to bring even further success to the centre in 2018.
To find out more about the EHC's plans for 2018, click on the video at the top of the page.