SKIBBEREEN Community Tourist Office dealt with more than 7,000 visitors from 20 countries last year, and the volunteer-led service is gearing up for another bumper summer season.
At the launch of their 2018 season county mayor Declan Hurley (Ind) praised the Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce volunteers on their continuing efforts to ensure that Skibbereen and the Mizen has a vibrant and welcoming tourist office.
‘This tourist office is very dependent on the volunteers that give of their time to promote, not only Skibbereen, but West Cork as well,’ Cllr Hurley said. ‘As a West Cork man myself, I am only too aware of the hard work that goes into running a community tourist office such as this one here in Skibbereen and indeed, the office in Bantry as well, where without the dedication of the volunteers, visitors would not get the best out of their time here in West Cork.’
Chairperson of the Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce, Helen Dempsey, said the office provides a focal point for visitors.
‘We had over 7,000 visitors from 20 countries across the globe calling to the office in 2017,’ Helen said. ‘The community tourist office offers visitors a hub where they can find information on everything from local accommodation, restaurants, beaches and whale watching, and all the other events and activities in the area. We all are looking forward to the new season where in conjunction with Skibbereen Credit Union we will be launching the Skibbereen Walking Festival in September.’
The tourist office cost just over €11,500 to run in 2017 and while a subvention from Fáilte Ireland helps, fundraising and Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce members have subscriptions.
‘Last year, the largest number of callers to the tourist office were Irish,’ Mary O’Donovan, business administrator at the Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce, said. ‘The number of visitors from the UK was, once again, up on 2016, followed by German, American and French tourists. We also noted that Saturday, Thursday and Monday proved to be the busiest days of the week and August was the busiest month.’
Helen added: ‘Once again we want to thank all our friends and visitors who have supported the community tourist office. And if there is anyone that would like to volunteer a couple of hours, you can contact the office on 028 21489.’