South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed his serious concern that the Cahir Tourist Office remains closed as the Tourist season kicks off as Fáilte Ireland only enter discussions with South Tipperary County Council this week.
Fáilte Ireland have confirmed that they are currently reviewing their Tourist Office Network in an effort to match significantly reduced resources with peak visitor demand and that they have sought a meeting with the Local Authority to explore options in relation to tourist information provision. Pending the outcome of this meeting a decision will be made regarding the operation of Cahir Tourist Office in 2013.
“This is outrageous,” says Deputy McGrath. “Cahir Tourist Office normally opens Easter Week. Easter Week has come and gone and Fáilte Ireland are only now considering their options and looking for a meeting with South Tipperary County Council. If they wanted to review their Tourist Office Network, it should have been done during the winter and not wait until the start of the Tourist Season to start looking into it. I have discussed this matter with a Fáilte Ireland Official and I am waiting to hear back from her. The tourist season in Cahir is about to kick off and the fact that no-one knows whether or not the Tourist Office will re-open is shocking. This Office is the only Fáilte Ireland operated tourist Office in Tipperary and it is unacceptable that a definite decision to reopen the office has not been made.”
“2013 is supposed to be the year of the gathering; the year that we all make an extra effort to welcome tourists, yet Tipperary is on the verge of being left without an important Tourist Office. Tipperary has a lot to offer in terms of tourism but the area needs support. We have beautiful heritage towns with fantastic castles such as Cahir Castle and the Swiss Cottage in Cahir, Ormonde Castle in Carrick and the Rock of Cashel and we live in a walker’s paradise with the Knockmealdowns, the Glen of Aherlow...
“There are wonderful local groups operating in the different areas such as the Knockmealdown Active Group, Clonmel Junction Festival, Tipperary Food Festival and Brú Ború trying to promote different aspects of our area and culture and increase tourism but these groups need support. The Fáilte Ireland Tourist Office is essential to act as an information hub and to support these groups who are doing their best to promote Tipperary as a Tourist destination. Every town in the County needs tourism but with no information hub, they will likely end up driving through Tipperary without realising what this County has to offer.”
“I will continue correspondence with Fáilte Ireland and with South Tipperary County Council to ensure that common sense prevails and that this service is re-opened without delay,” concluded McGrath.