Summit is bad for business, say local tourism providers

Open for business during the G8 at David Blaney's Caravan Park gkfh41

Open for business during the G8 at David Bailey’s Caravan Park gkfh41

While the G8 may have helped businesses in Enniskillen get a facelift, those in close proximity to the  Lough Erne Resort are suffering and expect massive disruptions due to the impending closure of the Lough Shore Road.

On June 1 the road will close until June 28 and David Bailey, owner of Blaney Caravan Park, just five miles away faces a period of uncertainty, as many of his questions continue to go unanswered.


“The truth is I’m going to get very little through traffic. We’re a touring caravan park, some people book in advance, but others don’t. English, European tourists they will see a road closure sign at Belleek and take the diversion. When a stranger comes towards a sign which says road closed, is the person going to go on? I don’t think so.

“I’ve asked Road Service, I’ve asked police and I’ve spoken to a man from the Northern Ireland Office, but no one is coming back to me.

“I would like a sign from Belleek that says ‘road closed 14 miles ahead, Blaney Caravan Park open for business’.

“There also isn’t signage from Enniskillen to take them to me and the detour around Derrygonnelly will add five/10 minutes to their journey. There needs to be proper signage from Derrygonnelly out.

“I have asked Road Service for a sign from Enniskillen for Blaney, but they tell me it can’t be done as Blaney is too small an area, it is not a village, but it is a big tourism area.”

David is concerned that his caravan park has been overlooked in favour of the hotels, with his business just “small fry” picking up none of previously promised ‘G8 bounce’.

“Right now the amount of bookings is slack enough. The very mention of G8 to any business or tour operator means just to stay away.


“Tourist people aren’t going to get involved in an area with so much security. Two or three thousand police in such a small area, you will nearly see each one. There will be checkpoints, here there and everywhere. But I can’t do anything about it, Obama’s more important than me.”

Dorothy Hassard, who runs Bay View Guest House overlooking Tully Bay is another who expects to suffer on account of the road closure.

Originally receiving an email back in November to block book her accomodation for an ‘event’ in the area, she has had massive interest from America for the G8 dates, but is unable to accomodate anyone.

“People wanted to stay in the week leading up until the Monday, but I couldn’t keep them the whole time. They didn’t book at all in the end as I explained we were having the G8.

“I have had a lot of calls since just for the three days so for me this isn’t an advantage.

“I have people from Belfast who come down frequently who just said with all the hassle they couldn’t be bothered. If I had known what was coming I could have upped the prices.”

Dorothy expects not only passing trade to be affected due to diversions, but looking in her booking diary sees numbers down on a normally busy month.

“We seem to have been forgotten about, you see all the town getting done up at the moment with painters, but yet they’re not coming out to the country, our house needs painting.

“What can you do though, it’s almost upon us now though so lets just hope it passes us by without any problems.”

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