Wexford beaches, including Duncannon, proved popular this summer and some had to be closed. via New Ross Standard

IRE - Call for Review of Tourism Season After Beach Closures

The closure of beach access roads to traffic and the lack of self isolating at popular landmarks this summer are among several reasons why a review into tourism infrastructure is needed urgently.

Wexford County Council tourism officer Billy Byrne said: 'Summer 2020 was a strange season. Obviously with Covid and with no one knowing what was happening. From a Visit Wexford and a tourism point of view from March 13 we didn't do anything. We had to try and reignite the season as quickly as we could bearing in mind the safety of everyone.'

Mr Byrne, whose role is to market Wexford and to engage with all tourism stakeholders, said Fáilte Ireland have been active, adding that Co Wexford does perform well domestically.

The challenge of attracting international tourists remains, notwithstanding Covid-19.

'We were all fighting for the one piece of cake and we were all looking for slices of that cake. It was about getting the domestic market coming to Wexford while ensuring the people of Wexford were safe.'

When asked about how much marketing and advertising Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland invested in, Mr Byrne said: 'We had some national advertising. Fáilte Ireland did a lot of stuff. We didn't target the TV market, more national newspapers and radio stations. Anecdotally the hospitality sector in Wexford have had a better than expected season. It has been busy but it's hard to quantify it.'

Mr Byrne gave the example of how he spent a recent week off work, saying he didn't travel outside of Wexford. 'I was treating Wexford as my holiday this year and how many more did that? That brought up the numbers whereas during most "normal" years might be out of the country. We got to appreciate what we have.'

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