Signs of new life at county tourism group

Conor CULLEN

COUNTY WEXFORD Tourism may be resurrected after Pobal last December seemingly dealt it a killer blow withdrawing funding of over € 90,000 from the organisation, leading to its three employees losing their jobs and the Kilrane office closing.

Director Ray Flynn said the loss of its main financial backer threw the organisation into 'chaos', but that it is undergoing 'major surgery' at the moment with a view to once again marketing the Model County as a tourist destination.

Mr Flynn and his fellow directors of County Wexford Tourism, Maura Bell, of the Irish National Heritage Park, Liam Moran, Manager of the Ashdown Park in Gorey and Nick Bowie, are now trying to breathe new life into the tourism body.

'Far too many people are dependent on this industry for their livelihoods for us not to give up without a fight,' Mr Flynn said this week. 'We have adopted three objectives, which would not have been possible without the support of Wexford County Council.'

The directors have pledged to cut the membership fees for County Wexford Tourism in half and they also agreed to produce a brochure for the 2010 season.

Finally, they proposed carrying out 'a root and branch review of all aspects of the organisation'.

Last week they also appointed two consultants, Sean Mythen and Jerry Foley, to carry out a complete review of all the activities, structures and procedures of the marketing company.

'The process will incorporate a complete analysis of best practice with the view to positioning the company at the cutting edge of web based marketing solutions,' said Mr Flynn.

'The consultants will examine all areas of the operation and make recommendations regarding the corporate structure and the decision-making processes,' he said.

'County Wexford tourism represents over 300 tourism-based businesses in the county. Given that one in four jobs in Wexford is directly supported by that industry then you realise the importance of having a vibrant, modern, efficient, successful marketing organisation,' said Mr Flynn, who is also General Manager of Rosslare Development Association.

'There is no point looking back in anger we have to accept that we were all asleep; lulled into a false sense of optimism by the so called Celtic Tiger,' said Mr Flynn.

'Well, those days are gone and we must now all come together, unite in a common cause to show the world that Wexford is open, that Wexford is value for money, but most of all we must show the world that a visit to Wexford is a life-changing experience.'

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