Fine Gael Cllr Gerry Coyle said this week that "I am absolutely delighted that Mayo County Council, have agreed with me and have now confirmed to me, that they have selected Belmullet as the Tourism Destination Town for 2020.
"This is great news for Belmullet and the entire Erris area. People coming to Belmullet have to travel through the county to get here which means the entire area will benefit. Fáilte Ireland have strict criteria to obtain this status and I am delighted that Belmullet will now get an extra half a million euro next year to carry out further enhancement works.
"First of all my thanks to Fáilte Ireland, the staff at Mayo County Council, in particular Peter Hynes, Padraig Philibin and Anna Connor of the Tourism Section of Mayo County Council for their continued support for the Erris region with the great help of the Belmullet office personnel, including outdoor and indoor staff led by Padraig Brogan.
"Thank you to the Minister for Rural and Social Development Minister Michael Ring for his continued support and investment in the Erris region. I had the privilege of chairing the Tourism and Food SPC for three years during this term of the Council, during which time Mayo County Council led the initiative for the local authorities in the region to support Knock Airport, which is one of the most valuable resources for bringing tourists to the west of Ireland.
"I thank the Erris Chamber of Commerce, Iorrais Domhnann who run the Belmullet Tourism Office, the different Tourism Offices throughout Erris, all of the different tidy towns groups, all other community groups such as the rural social schemes, CE schemes and Tùs schemes, all of the tourism facilitators in the area and volunteers of local festival committees and sporting groups.
"This isn’t something that happened overnight, both myself and others have advocated for our area for many years to be recognized as a tourism hub. Throughout the years, I’ve supported tourism and sporting events in Erris in an attempt to entice visitors to come and experience what we have to offer and to encourage emigrants back to the area. I’ve always done my utmost to promote the area, locally, nationally and internationally."