EXCHANGE rates, blockbuster TV shows, and simple word of mouth are helping turn Fermanagh into a tourist hotspot.
While it’s too early in the season to pin down exact figures for the county, local tourism providers have noticed a marked increase in both domestic and international visitors this year.
Terry McCartney, owner of Belmore Court Motel, said Fermanagh was continuing to develop as a tourism destination, growing in popularity with both international visitors and those closer to home looking for a “staycation.”
Like other tourism providers, Mr McCartney said he’d noticed a lot of US visitors this year, no doubt attracted by the current Sterling exchange rate, and who felt at home at the American-inspired Enniskillen motel.
“As Fermanagh’s tourism product develops it provides people more reasons to visit,” said Mr McCartney.
One relatively new attraction in the county is it’s connection with Game of Thrones, which Mr McCartney said was “yet another reason to visit.”
With both the spectacular Pollnagollum Cave in Belmore Forest, which was a filming location for the hit show that recently returned to the screens, and with one of only several “Doors of Thrones” in the North at Blake’s of the Hollow, Fermanagh is certainly on the “GOT” tourist trail.
Gordon McKenna from Blake’s of the Hollow said the ornate door was proving immensely popular with “Journey of Doors” passport tour, where fans get a stamp for visiting.
“The door has been in since May last year, and it’s been going really well,” he said. “We’ve gone through a lot of the passports for the door. In fact, we’re the first bar to actually get an extra thousand of the passports.”
Mr McKenna said they’d also noticed a lot more US in the bar, as well as European visitors, as did Claire Cassidy from the Manor House Hotel, with both agreeing the current exchange rate was helping provide a boost.
“We have found ourselves very, very busy,” said Ms Cassidy. “Particularly last week and this week, and it continues to be very busy for us. We obviously can’t complain.”
Stating the hotel was getting a lot of visitors from Belfast, England and the South, with many coming for the lakes and Cuilcagh Mountain, Ms Cassidy said they also had many overseas visitors.
“It is a factor for tourists coming over, that there’s such a good exchange rate at the minute,” she said. “You certainly see a mix of nationalities in the hotel.”
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