BANTRY tourist office had its highest ever number of visitors this year, at 23,000.
A voluntary organisation, Bantry Development and Tourism Association, operate the service at Wolfe Tone Square.
More than 23,000 visitors came to the office and sought information and guidance from the committed band of volunteer Information Officers.
Visitors came from far and wide, but especially the US, Canada, France, Italy and Germany with others coming from the antipodes.
Some stayed in the area for a number of days or weeks and frequented local restaurants, pubs, heritage sites and events through the year.
Many included their visit to Bantry with their exploration of the Wild Atlantic Way. This latter initiative has certainly driven much needed tourism development in many parts of coastal Ireland.
Bantry Development and Tourism Association has been promoting tourism development in Bantry and the wider West Cork area for many years.
It is run by a group of up to 30 volunteers – including those who run the Walking Groups and their Chairman, Eileen O’Shea says that great credit is due to all for giving up their time to make sure that visitors have quality experiences when they touch down in the town.
The association works closely with Bantry Business Association and Bantry Tidy Towns to ensure that all meet their mutual objectives to promote and develop Bantry. Thanks come from the association to Ruth O’Brien and her team at Cork County Council for all their support through the years. Those at the helm in BDTA truly believe that the combination of great volunteer effort and the work and support of those in public agencies – including those who provide financial support – ensures that it can successfully deliver on its goals to promote Bantry as a quality visitor destination.
BDTA runs several festivals through the year, starting with the Family Gathering on New Year’s Eve and running onto the St Patrick’s Day Parade, the annual June Bank Holiday Walking Festival, Multicultural KAPULA also in June, Bantry Regatta and BBQ Festival in August, the Chief O’Neill Traditional Music Festival in September and the Westlodge Fastnet Rally in October.
It’s also involved with and promotes, many of the other events and festivals which run throughout the year.