Fine Gael TD for Mayo, Michelle Mulherin, has welcomed the decision to give the green light to the proposal by Ballina Chamber to open a year-round tourist office in Ballina and the awarding of funding of €5,000 to help in its operation. The new tourist office, located on Pearse Street in the heart of the town, replaces the seasonal office which had operated for about six months each year from premises on Cathedral Road which was more off the beaten track.
Deputy Mulherin said: “With the opening of this office, another piece has been added to the tourism development jigsaw and visitors to the region can now easily access the best information about what to do and see around Ballina and its hinterland in north Mayo and south Sligo. As the old office operated for only six months of the year, many visitors found it difficult to get the quality of information that is available in other popular tourist destinations. Also the beauty of a tourist office is that it allows the tourist deal face to face with staff, which gives a personal touch to the imparting of tourism information and allows the tourist experience the 'Cead Mile Failte' we are renowned for. I was well aware of this situation from talking to local tourism service providers like hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, and pubs, and I was delighted to be in a position to pursue the matter with Bord Failte and the Minister responsible, Deputy Michael Ring.
“I would like to compliment Ballina Chamber and the Community Employment staff of Ballina Tidy Towns for their work in delivering this crucial service to tourists. It is proof once again that by pulling together, good things can happen. It is a great achievement and I have no doubt that visitors to the new office will find its staff will add to the charm that is all part of the experience of visiting our area.”