A €1.5 million insurance payout for business interruption during lockdown helped Kylemore Abbey and Gardens in Connemara,cushion the blow of a decrease close to 75% in its
revenues last year.
Visitor numbers at Kylemore, which is also home to a community of Benedictine nuns, fell to 100,000 in 2020 from around 530,000 in 2019, when it was ranked in the top 10 attractions in terms of numbers.
However,Kylemore bounced back in 2021 by more than trebling the number of Irish visitors as domestic tourism grew, according to its executive director, Conor Coyne.
Kylemore is also targeting a surge in British visitors after it features in a primetime BBC series that will be broadcast over Christmas.
Recently filed accounts show commercial revenues from the abbey, gardens, shop and restaurant plunged from about €7.4 million to €1.6 million.
Entry fees to the abbey and six-acre walled gardens dropped from more than €3 million to €630,000, while shop and restaurant sales reportedly fell from about €4.3 million to below €1 million.
Including other income from grants and donations, the trust that owns the abbey saw its total income fall to €3.6 million, including the insurance payout from Allianz.
After the state covered about 40% of payroll costs with pandemic subsidies, the operating company for the commercial business recorded a loss of less than €8,000.