Summer tourism surge for county

Stephen Nixon of Erne Tours has reported roaring trade over the summer months

Stephen Nixon of Erne Tours has reported roaring trade over the summer months

AFTER a summer which has included major events such as the G8, Ulster Rally and the Beckett festival, coupled with one of the driest summer  in years Fermanagh providers have shown their prowess, reporting roaring trade over the summer months.

Stephen Nixon, of Erne Tours expressed his delight at the tourist numbers.


“Trade has been very, very good. It has been due to a number of factors: The G8 being peaceful is one, while the weather has been exceptional and has allowed people to do more activities.

“The Enniskillen ‘Town’ programme on BBC put Enniskillen in a very good light and the G8 has obviously helped. People have seen Enniskillen and have been encouraged to come here.
“That has all been helped by the weather, which has been very kind to us.”

Stephen noted a change in the traditional trend of visitors, but was encouraged by the numbers nonetheless.

“There has been a lot of English and people from Northern Ireland and there has not been as many from the Republic. The trend has been different, but I’m definitely not complaining.”

He also highlighted those, including police, who came in for the G8 and such was the impression Fermanagh made on them, they returned.

“Quite a lot have come back after the G8 such was the impact Fermanagh had on them. We did ourselves proud.”

At the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark visitor numbers to the caves located at Marlbank, Florencecourt are up by over 4,000 on the same period last year.


Sean Corrigan from the Geopark attributes the increases down to a cocktail of  good weather, the G8 and increased publicity. He was particularly effusive in his praise for the role of the G8.

“I think the G8 has put the front for Fermanagh up and it can only help for the future.”

“The weather can also not be discounted, last year the boat portion of our tour ran for eight days during July and August and this year it hasn’t been off at all.

“The odd day maybe here or there, but overall the weather has really, really helped things.”

Terry McCartney , owner of Belmore Court and Motel was equally positive about the summer trade, which has made up for a slack winter.

“Summer has been brilliant for Fermanagh, but it has only made up for a very difficult winter.

“Lots of people have been to Fermanagh and many for the first time, be it for the Ulster Rally, the Beckett festival or the G8.

“They are all talking about returning and about the people and the natural beauty of the place.

“We would be slightly ahead on last year, but the job for us is to maintain that momentum into this winter so that we are not fighting a losing battle.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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