BLAKES of the Hollow manager, Mark Edwards praised the relaxation of licensing laws that enabled his and other bars across Enniskillen to have a booming Easter.
Last weekend’s Easter period was the second year of the relaxing of the laws that had previously restricted trading hours over the traditional holiday.
However, this year marked what was the first full post-Covid period with the hospitality sector having gone more than a year without having to observe strict health guidelines.
“The Easter period was very busy,” said Mark. “The relaxation of the licensing laws meant that visitors could come to Fermanagh and have a nice Easter weekend.
“It was always a struggle for visitors to Fermanagh during Covid to come down and stay for a weekend break in a hotel with hospitality having to close down then.”
Mark also runs the Taste of Enniskillen tour and he knew well in advance that this would be a good Easter for that business.
He added: “The tours were booked out a couple of months ahead of Easter. We had visitors from all over Ireland, the UK and further afield.
“All credit is due to the businesses of Enniskillen who work extremely hard to provide a very good delivery of service and food.”
Meanwhile, Noelle McAloon of Enniskillen BID commented that while the Easter weekend had been positive for the town’s businesses, pressures from the cost of living crisis still remain.
She said: “The town centre businesses were ready to start the tourist season with the build up to Easter and more people around.
“We in Experience Enniskillen produced the first of our 2023 calendars/maps and feedback again had been incredibly positive with hotels, hospitality, and retail telling us that tourists are in town and wanting to get ideas for things to do in Enniskillen.
“At the recent Hospitality Ulster meeting in Enniskillen it was commented that trading remains very busy despite the cost of living concerns but everyone acknowledged the huge overwhelming pressures of increasing costs and struggles with staff recruitment.”
General Store Manager of ASDA in Enniskillen, Stuart Legge, added he noticed a spike in customers from the Republic of Ireland inside the store.
He said: “Compared to last year, trade was pretty much the same. However, we did notice more cars in our carpark with Irish numberplates than usual. People like coming over the border to Fermanagh as the county is a big tourist attraction.”
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