Irish company Future Ticketing claims the tender process used to award tourist attraction Book of Kells’ ticketing contract was illegal and is pursuing High Court action.

The move is designed to halt Trinity College Dublin from awarding the contract to a different company as Future has been supplying the ticketing system for several years.

The case is up for mention on January 20 and an affidavit has been filed by founder Liam Holton to support Future Ticketing’s case.

The Book of Kells was the fourth most popular fee-charging tourist attraction in Ireland in 2018, with almost 1.1 million visitors, which was surpassed only by the Guinness Storehouse, the Cliffs of Moher visitor experience, and Dublin Zoo.

The tender documents said, according to The Sunday Times newspaper, that 87% of tickets sold in 2018 were to visitors from outside Ireland and that this had contributed to a 45% growth in visitor numbers since 2014. Online sales and marketing were a steadily “integral driver of our revenue growth”, with 23% of ticket sales from online last year. Trinity wants that figure to increase from 243,000 to 500,000 online sales a year.

The tender for the attraction’s ticketing system was issued last June, and it listed the value of the “visitor attraction management system” contract at €620,000 over four years, with an option to extend for a further two.

In the tender, Trinity said the new system had to support the Book of Kells and “ambitious redevelopment plans” involving other attractions on its campus. It wanted “an integrated system to capture and report on all visitor engagement with Trinity’s attractions”.

Image: Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ