Deputy Gabrielle McFadden has said that the Midlands are in a prime position to benefit from another year of bumper tourism. The Fine Gael TD for Longford-Westmeath was speaking after the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO ) showed that the number of tourists coming to Ireland rose by a further 7.5 per cent in the first three months of this year.
Deputy McFadden added that attracting visitors to the constituency would be a key priority for her as the region’s newest TD.
“The latest tourism figures are very encouraging, and it looks like 2014 will be the fourth consecutive year of growth in overseas visitor coming to Ireland. I am determined to ensure as many of these visitors as possible come to the Midlands,” she said.
Deptuy McFadden is currently involved in the establishment of Destination Athlone, a group which will be focussed on attracting visitors to the town and its environs, and marketing the area as an ideal destination for tourism. Local restaurants, hoteliers, and businesspeople are on board and are already actively working on making sure that Athlone is putting its best foot forward.
“The Midlands has so much to offer, and while tourism already plays an important role, I believe it can have an even greater positive impact on the local economy. The ongoing development of the Dublin to Galway cycleway is crucial for the region, and a project I feel very passionately about,” she added.
“Boosting tourism for the Midlands is one of my key priorities. Increasing the number of visitors here will have a positive spin-off in terms of jobs and the sustainability of local businesses. I am really looking forward to getting Destination Athlone fully up and running with the help of people involved in the town and committed to its future.
“I am hopeful that 2014 can be a very strong year for tourism in the Midlands.”