THERE have been calls for greater effort to be made to promote tourism in the south of the county, and to make Upper Lough Erne as popular a visitor destination as Lower Lough Erne.
Cllr Garbhan McPhillips has called for the Upper Lough Erne Tourist Group to be re-established to help promote the area, noting there should be a greater focus on the natural beauty in the south of Fermanagh to help develop the whole county into a sought-after tourism destination.
Cllr McPhillips, pictured below, who is a former chairman of Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism, said the group could work alongside the Council’s recently-launched Visitor Experience Development Plan to help promote all areas of the county.
“The Upper Lough Erne region has not moved and developed in the way the lower region of the Lough has over this past decade,” he said. “South Fermanagh could be in time have a great product offering for the tourist.”
Stating that if he was re-elected he would make tourism a priority, Cllr McPhillips added, “The Upper Lough Erne Tourist group did have an information office in Lisnaskea a number of years ago and a base needs to be re-established in order to kick start efforts to create a product that would bring jobs and opportunities for south Fermanagh and in particular the Erne East district electoral area.
“Visiting other areas on our island only serves to beg the questions of what we could do in our own area.”
The Council launched its Visitor Experience Development Plan (VEDP) at the end of March, which is a partnership between the Council and many other local and national bodies – including Waterways Ireland Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, and the National Trust –aimed at enhancing and strengthening local tourism.
The Council has described the VEDP as “a ten-year destination roadmap that will focus on regenerative tourism, delivering authentic visitor experiences, while benefiting local communities, businesses, and the environment.”
“The VEDP will create greater alignment locally across the tourism sector through stronger collaboration from key delivery organisations and a more joined-up approach to tourism development,” said a Council spokesman.
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