Councillor Keith Martin has called on the OPW and Fáilte Ireland to meet with Westport Town Council to discuss the future of Westport’s Tourist Office.
Cllr Martin made his call at Thursday night’s meeting of Westport Town Council. Cllr Martin has learned that Failte Ireland has not yet made a decision on the OPW’s request to surrender their long term lease on the Georgian building which is owned by the OPW.
Cllr Martin has already written to Fáilte Ireland echoing Sean Staunton’s call for Fáilte Ireland not to surrender the lease, citing what Cllr Martin calls as “huge local opposition and concern” over the plan to relocate the operations of Westport Labour Exchange currently on Prospect Avenue off John’s Row, to the present location of the town’s tourist office on James Street.
Cllr Martin continued: “This is bad news for Westport. Our town is a tourism town, tourism is the life blood of this town and the tourist office on James Street is the beating heart of our tourism industry.”
Cllr Martin has also called on Minister Michael Ring to intervene to stop the proposed relocation of the tourist office.
He added: “Westport Town Council, Westport Chamber of Commerce, Failte Ireland predecessors and others lobbied for years for our town to get a full time full sized tourist office and now the OPW is proposing to take that away from us in the year of The Gathering.
Westport Tourist Office is a monument and symbol of our thriving tourism industry, the OPW want to turn it into a monument of the recession.”
Cllr Martin has also been in touch with Minister Leo Varadkar and Junior Minister Alan Kelly.