MayoNorth.ie along with Ballina Chamber and Tourist Office held their first tourism expo, entitled Meet Mayo North, on Tuesday 24th May in the Ballina Manor Hotel. The expo, which was covered live by Mid West Radio and Irish TV was designed to give businesses and community tourism groups operating in the North Mayo/West Sligo region an opportunity to showcase their business to the public, and to network with other tourism operators.
The event was a big success, with over 50 exhibitors showcasing their tourism offering in the stunning Ridgepool Room. Representatives from Failte Ireland, Mayo.ie, Gnó Mhaigh Eo, Mayo Paradise Possible and Mayo Chamber also attended.
Mags Downey–Martin, Manager at Ballina Tourist Office said: “We are delighted with the turnout and response to this event. The positivity in the room and the desire by all involved in tourism to meet and share information was overwhelming. Everybody learned something new on the day and both Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Ballina Tourist Office are looking forward to a busy summer season ahead.”
Anne-Marie Flynn, manager at MayoNorth.ie said: “What was striking on the day was the variety of activities available in the region – there really is something for everyone to do regardless of age, ability or interests. And it is great to see the growing level of collaboration that is coming to the fore between businesses in the area – this can only benefit these businesses and of course our visitors.”
Businesses came from across the entire North Mayo/West Sligo region to attend the event, from Belderrig to Enniscrone to Foxford. Meet Mayo North featured variety of activities, including archery, kayaking, cycling, surfing, museums, gardens and spas. In addition, a number of festivals and community tourism groups including Ballycastle, Crossmolina and Moygownagh came to promote the attractions and hidden gems in their areas. A number of businesses have already reported an increase in enquiries from the public as a result of the event.
Attendee Siobhan Gough of Crossmolina Community Tourism Group said: “There was a fantastic atmosphere, really conducive to networking. It gave us a brilliant opportunity to promote Crossmolina and its surrounding communities.”
The expo, which was supported by Moy Valley Resources IRD is just one step in encouraging every business to “think tourism”. MayoNorth.ie and Ballina Tourist Office want to ensure that visitors to the area receive a warm welcome that will encourage them to return again and again.