Mayor of Athlone, Aengus O’Rourke (FF ), says it is wonderful to see so many tourists around the town visiting the local attractions, following from a rise in visitor numbers from previous years.
Mayor O’Rourke says that while restaurants and hotels are noting a market drop in the number of UK visitors due to the uncertainty associated with Brexit and the weak state of Sterling, there is a clear increase in the volume of tourists visiting from other overseas countries. Mayor O’Rourke said the increase is being supplemented by a significant increase in the number of domestic tourists visiting and staying in Athlone.
He said one of the barometers he uses to gauge visitor numbers to the town is by looking at the visitor numbers to both the Luan Gallery and to Athlone Castle, which are carefully recorded.
“At the end of July, year to date, we have seen an increase in visitors to 18,000, up 26 per cent on this time last year. This is a phenomenal uplift in numbers,” said Mayor O’Rourke.
“Success does not happen by accident, though. I want to congratulate many groups for this achievement and for the progress that has been made in the town over the past few years, including Destination Athlone, the Athlone Municipal Authority, the product providers themselves, including the management and staff at the Luan Gallery and Athlone Castle, and indeed those involved in the tourism and hospitality sector right throughout Athlone and the Midlands region.”
While welcoming the increase in tourism, Mayor O’Rourke added that Athlone is merely scratching at the surface in terms of the potential it has. He pledged to continue working to advance that potential as far as possible.