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€3m for western tourism

€3m for western region tourism

Claire Egan

OVER €3 million will be invested in tourism in the western region in the coming year, according to Fáilte Ireland West.
The investment funding will be targeted specifically at marketing, including a major new domestic campaign, along with a focused international marketing campaign which will concentrate on increasing access to the western region.
Leading tourism operators from Mayo, Roscommon and Galway gathered last Tuesday at Hotel Westport to hear a keynote presentation from members of the western regional tourism board. Speaking to The Mayo News at the event, Ms Fiona Monaghan, newly-appointed General Manager of the West Region, said there will be a mammoth effort over the coming months to intensively market the region for the coming tourist season. She identified Ireland West Airport Knock as an integral component of the new marketing campaign.
“Ireland West Airport is absolutely vital to tourism in the region, it goes without saying. The opening of the Boston and New York route ways was an excellent development. We will be working very closely with the CEO Liam Scollan and his marketing department and hoping that the current levels of business between the US and the UK will be sustained and that in time future routes will also open up,” said Fiona.
Westport was also identified as one of the major tourism centres and a key force in the tourism market.
“Westport would be one of the most identifiable regions internationally and would be well-known to visitors from the States and the UK. From a marketing point of view, Westport can be identified as a key base for tourists who visit the region, particularly if they fly into Knock. Furthermore, Westport has a critical mass of accommodation and it is our aim to develop it as a hub centre for tourism in the western region,” said Fiona.
In light of recent figures by Tourism Ireland, which reported that of the €3.9 billion generated by overseas visitors to Ireland last year, €2.5 billion was spent in the regions, Fáilte Ireland West acknowledged that developing regional tourism in a comprehensive manner was vital.
At present plans are in place for a major media campaign which will be launched this coming April. “The campaign by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with the west region will begin in April, in time for the 2007 tourism season and it will feature on TV, radio and of course in the national and local press. Included in that campaign will be the western regions and from a Mayo perspective the county will be showcased extensively,” explained Fiona.