Former chairperson and founder member of Cahir Tourism, Gerry Duffy, has expressed a cautious welcome to the re-opening of the Cahir Tourist Office recently.
“The office only opened after extensive local lobbying, and will be open only for six days a week, being closed on Mondays. While some might be happy with that, accommodation providers would prefer if the tourist office opened seven days a week all year round,” said Mr Duffy.
“As it transpired, the closure covered the Easter and St Patrick’s weekend periods, when there is an increased footfall of tourists in the Cahir area. Coupled with the fact that The Swiss Cottage did not open until Easter Saturday this year, the lack of a tourist office with walk-in room booking facilities and skilled multi-lingual staff has meant a loss in revenue both to the local economy and Failte Ireland, who would have earned a percentage of each bed night booked there.
“However, the tourist office is now open and the positives are that skilled tourist desk staff can welcome our vistors and encourage them to stay in the region with benefits to accommodation providers not only in Cahir town, but in Ardfinnan, Clogheen, Ballyporeen, Bansha, Kilcoran and New Inn. Cahir Castle alone attracts over 1,000 vistors per week on average (Failte Ireland 2010 figures are 52,037). If the tourist office was open year round, a good percentage of those would enquire about local accomodation, meals, music in pubs, and generate increased income in the area and increased employment.
“Tripadvisor has ranked Cahir Castle as the number one attraction, and Swiss Cottage is number three in the whole county of Tipperary, thus topping The Rock of Cashel, proof indeed that Cahir has a lot to offer to the tourist and we must look to our tourism administrators to market that potential,” said Mr Duffy.