Athlone.ie hosts tourism networking event

Tourism operators from Athlone and surrounding areas attended a networking event last week, hosted by athlone.ie in association with The Radisson Blu, Athlone.

The aim of the event was to give local tourism operators an opportunity to meet, exchange information, and become more familiar with one another’s facilities as the 2012 summer season gets underway.

Promotional stands showcased the vast array of excellent visitor and heritage attractions, sports and leisure facilities, entertainment and events available in the locality. There was a buzz in the room as proprietors, management, and staff networked, keen to familiarise themselves with what is on offer during the summer season.

Guest speakers included Miriam Mulrennan, manager of Athlone Art & Heritage Ltd, the project management company for Athlone Castle, Athlone Art Gallery, Abbey Road Artists Studios, and John Count McCormack Exhibition; and Derek Nugent of the TriAthlone organising committee who confirmed that the event will be taking place on Saturday June 30.

Cllr Frankie Keena, chairman of Athlone eCom, the project management company of athlone.ie, opened the event and encouraged participants to “work together, share information, and promote one another throughout the season”. He said that, “Individually you are all very strong but collectively you would be unbeatable. We are all working on bringing visitors to Athlone and the surrounding areas, but it also important to make sure that when these visitors go home they talk to their friends and neighbours about their pleasurable experience of our town and come back again in greater numbers. We have brilliant tourism attractions that offer a genuinely friendly welcome to our visitors but it is the quality of service delivered by us all that will bring them back for more.”

Carmel Duffy, manager of the athlone.ie website presented details of the progress and impact of athlone.ie over the course of its 10 years online. She encouraged those present to become more familiar with visitor information resources on the site such as the festival and events listings, the accommodation facilities, what to do and see, food and drink, sport and leisure activities, etc.

Tanya Flynn, director of sales at Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone said that, “We were delighted to be part of this networking event in conjunction with athlone.ie It was a great opportunity to meet with the various operators as we approach the busy summer months. As an accommodation provider it is essential that all our staff are familiar with the activities and attractions available to our guests here in the town and the surrounding area...the customer will always buy the whole package. Athlone has so much to offer in terms of heritage, culture, water activities...not to mention great shops, bars, and restaurants. We hope it’s a busy season for everyone as Athlone really is ‘at the heart of it’ all.”

The evening concluded with a draw of fabulous prizes generously supplied by many of the local tourism operators and a complimentary River Run boat trip with commentary provided by local historian Donal O’ Brien.

Information on local tourism facilities and services can be found on www.athlone.ie/visiting

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