HUGE numbers of tourists visiting the Giant's Causeway are creating both positive and negative impacts.
For while the revenue they bring pays for conservation and facilities, the sheer weight of numbers is causing disruption to neighbouring communities and harming the environment.
The warning is contained in the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site Management Plan 2021 – 2027, published last week.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic the National Trust employed 75 full time staff, with more at peak seasons, contributing over £1.5 million to the local economy via wages.
Research indicates the Giant’s Causeway is worth £484.26 million to the Northern Ireland economy (2018).
But the document acknowledges: “High visitor numbers put pressure on site management and the sensitive environment.
“National Trust and the Steering Group recognise this pressure. National Trust are keen to re-evaluate the site’s visitor capacity with a view to delivering a quality visitor experience while conserving the Site.”
For full story see this week's Chronicle