Despite the bleak outlook impacting on Ireland on so many fronts, Ballinamore Business and Tourism is bucking the trend by investing in the future of the town with a redesigned website www.Ballinamore.ie, a new information book and maps of the local area unveiled last Friday.
The comprehensive promotional tools are aimed at putting Ballinamore and the surrounding area on the map and they were unveiled at two events, one led by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring at a special lunch-time ceremony on Friday, July 20 and the other aimed at a more public launch that same evening.
Speaking at the lunch-time launch, Damien Hamill, Ballinamore Tourism Committee, said that the publication of the maps and brochures as well as the redesigned website, had been the product of many long months of research.
“We want the world to know where Ballinamore is and where Co Leitrim is,” he said at the launch as he paid tribute to everyone involved in the project.
He thanked the Leitrim Development Company who provided 75 percent of the total €15,000 funding for the project and the local business people who had helped to raise the remaining 25 percent required to make the website, brochure and maps a reality.
“If there is one thing on a wish list we could give the Minister it would be public transport,” Mr Hamill said adding that he hoped the Minister would be able to raise the need for proper transport links for the region to the N3 and N4.
Leitrim Development Company CEO, Tom Lavin also paid tribute to everyone involved in the project stating that “they are fighting back and doing what any good community should do in tougher times like this.”
“The Ballinamore community is obviously one of vibrancy, enthusiasm and action.”
Minister Ring said he was “greatly impressed” by Ballinamore and the surrounding area and he stressed the need to encourage further tourism growth in the West, especially with the Year of the Gathering quickly approaching.
“For every 35 visitors that come to Ireland, one more tourism job is created and that is vital,” he said.
“I know that people often complain about the weather but the reality is that people don’t come here for the weather. They love our natural beauty, that’s what attracts them, that’s why they come here and we have to look forward, with initiatives like this one,” he said.
The redesigned website www.Ballinamore.ie includes an option for the public to submit relevant video footage of scenery and activities in Ballinamore and surroundings, while the maps and brochure highlight what’s on offer locally in a simple format which is very easy to follow. The map also highlights walks and cycle routes and includes information on local landmarks.
The Ballinamore Tourism Committee behind the initiative say they hope that everyone will get behind the local area and work to promote both the website and promotional materials for Ballinamore. Those with events coming up are encouraged to submit information on the website to help promote events through a central portal.
“We know Ballinamore is a great place to live and to visit. We want the world to know. Ballinamore justifies its reputation as the ‘friendly town’. A varied calendar of events spans the entire year, Drama and Easter Spraoi in the Spring through to Family Festival and Fringe Festival all about to happen now,” noted a spokesperson for the Committee.