Following on from the launch of the Ballinasloe Area Tourism Network in April last year in conjunction with Hidden Heartlands, Waterways Ireland , The Western Development Commission ,Galway Rural Development and Galway County Council Tourism Dept. – a steering group of local tourism and hospitality interests have been busy pursuing next steps.
Key to the Feasibility Plan is the strategic positioning of the town and the network from Ballyforan Bridge to Meelick weir and from Aughrim Battlefield to Shannonbridge - as a touchstone town on the twin pillars of the Beara Breffni Way and the Shannon Erne Waterway.
With over €59 million of Tourism Investment coming to the Hidden Heartlands via the Just Transition Fund, the fledgling Grouping under the auspices of BACD are confident that with success and support - the town and its hinterland tourism network can position itself as an off grid slow tourism gem of the Hidden Heartlands.
Already becoming a “Bundoran of the Midlands” with last January’s Mike Denver Dancing Weekend having every available room booked out in town for two nights – along with rooms in Loughrea and indeed Athlone – the town is gearing up for several busy attraction weekends anchored around hotel based events with a huge weekend promised again in the Shearwater for the last weekend in March – first of April with the National Jiving Championships.
Attempting to build on the huge heritage and amenity work done by a variety of community and voluntary interests the group are with the active support of Hidden Heartlands, going to host an early season FAMM event for key personnel in the service and hospitality trade in an effort to grow an Ambassador Circle for East Galway and South Roscommon.
This will build out to a Taster Opening Season Weekend – scheduled for late May that will offer some key pillars of activity and theming to locals and visitors alike to grow awareness of all the opportunities that really do exist locally for people to be engaged with on a break.
If you are about to launch a service (Glamping, Trekking, Art Camps, Farm visits etc.) or product that could be of interest to visitors and were not engaged with the project last Spring you should make contact with the group quickly.
Further information on the Tourism Collective can be had from Lyn Donnelly BEC Manager at Lyn@bacd.ie
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