Galway City West councillor Donal Lyons this week voiced his deep reservations over the location of a new tourist office for Galway city.
Cllr Lyons said; “The existing Tourist Office located on the junction of Forster Street/Fairgreen Road has been sold and I am reliably informed that it is currently being leased back to Fáilte Ireland on a short term lease basis. However, I understand that the new owners of the building have now requested that they no longer want to extend the short term lease and want the building vacated by the end of May.
“I understand that a building has been sourced in Forster Street to act as a Tourist Office on an interim basis, while other locations in the Eyre Square area are being investigated for a more permanent Tourist Office into the future.
“The high tourist season is nearly upon us. It is essential that a Tourist Office is located in a prominent position. With the Capital of Culture commencing next year, Galway City needs to be ready to accept large volumes of visitors to our city. While some will be using social media to book accommodation, tours, and shows there is still a need for a Tourist Office to promote Galway and the region for the walk-in tourist.
“Two years ago when the Galway City Council was informed by Fáilte Ireland of their intention of selling off the Tourist Office building, I raised the issue of the urgent need to have a new Tourist Office located in a prominent location in the city.
“I believe that the location of the new office in Forster Street is totally unsuitable. It is located beside a loading bay and delivery vans and trucks will obstruct peoples’ view of the office for large periods of the day, thus making it difficult for visitors to locate the building. I am also worried that a more permanent site may not be forthcoming and that the Tourist Office will remain in this temporary location into the future. I believe that Galway deserves better and there is now a more urgent need to have a permanent site purchased/leased in a prominent location in the city centre as soon as possible.”