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Two tourism offices for Inishowen 23.04.10

by Damian Dowds, Inishowen Independent

INISHOWEN is to have two full time tourism offices for 2010, the Inishowen Independent has learned. Inishowen Tourism was due to meet this week to discuss a new plan that will see the tourism office in Carndonagh move from its current office at the Diamond to Donegal County Council’s Public Services Centre, while the organisation will also sign a lease with Tourism Ireland to operate Buncrana’s tourism office.
The offices will be staffed on Monday-Friday all year round, with extended opening hours on 20 Saturdays and bank holidays during the peak summer season.
Buncrana tourism office. The proposed move to Buncrana had proved contentious when discussed at last month’s Inishowen Electoral Area meeting, with councillors from the north of the peninsula expressing disquiet that Carndonagh would lose its office.
However, a meeting between councillors and Inishowen
Tourism on Tuesday ironed out the problems and Cllr Pádraig MacLochlainn has hailed the new plan as a great outcome for the peninsula.
However, some shareholders in Inishowen Tourism, most of whom were involved in setting up the organisation 20 years ago, have expressed disquiet at the new developments and criticised the lack of consultation with them. Those concerns were expected to be aired at this week's meeting.
“This is a great outcome for the tourism industry in Inishowen,” Cllr Mac Lochlainn said. “With the closure of the courthouse and problems with the proposed 24-hour Garda station for Carn, there were some sensitivities about possibly losing the tourism office too. But we will now have an excellent enhanced service in the Public Service Centre in the town, and another office in Buncrana. Overall, it’s a very positive development.”
Under the plan, Inishowen Tourism’s three full-time staff will be split between the Carndonagh and Buncrana offices. The staff will be supplemented by part-time workers hired for the busy summer months.
Praising the board of Inishowen Tourism, Cllr MacLochlainn said that they had done a tremendous job working within the resources available to them.
“There are very good people in the organisation, many of whom have hands-on experience of the tourism industry,” Cllr MacLochlainn said. “They are very ambitious and their future plans include developing an information point at the ferry terminal in Greencastle for visitors coming here by boat.
“The new website is also a tremendous resource,” Cllr MacLochlainn continued. “Most visitors use the Internet to research their trip, and they will get a very good impression of Inishowen from the site.”
Fianna Fáil councillor Charlie McConalogue said Tuesday’s meeting was very positive and provided an outcome that all councillors and Inishowen Tourism can work with. He said that the Inishowen councillors and Inishowen Tourism will issue a joint statement shortly on the outcome of their discussions. Carn’s new tourism office is due to be officially launched on May 18.
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