Councillor Michelle Hall pictured at the Boyne estuary near Baltray.
Councillor Michelle Hall has called for a tourism officer for Drogheda and the South Louth area to promote the huge potential for the region.
She received the full support of her fellow councillors at this month’s Drogheda Municipal District Meeting for a motion to promote the tourism potential of the Boyne Estuary and the coastal villages of Baltray, Termonfeckin and Clogherhead.
Councillor Hall called for a co-ordinated approach to promoting tourism, asking Louth County Council to ensure that infrastructure, support for businesses and environmental sustainability be taken into account.
“We are living in an area of immense beauty, historical importance and protected areas of conservation” she said.
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“I could never understand that tourism wasn’t maximised along the North-East coast but as the Ancient East Destination Experience shows, the Boyne Valley trail ends at Drogheda.
“It never extended along the stunning views of the estuary to the quaint village of Baltray, the heritage town of Termonfeckin or the designated area of high scenic value of Clogherhead.
My motion was a call to invest in Drogheda Rural, to bring economy into the area and jobs for local people,” Councillor Hall said.
“However, we can’t look at tourism in a silo approach. We need to look at the whole picture and that means maintaining the conditions of the roads, promoting active travel measures, ensure there are sufficient parking facilities such as park and stride carparks and supporting new and existing businesses.
“The increased number of visitors to the area during the lockdowns has seen some effects on the local biodiversity with more people walking the Head and the Haven in Baltray.
“Perhaps we need boardwalks to keep walkers on specific trails and allow the native plants room to grow. It has worked very well at the Culcagh Boardwalk near Enniskillen” she said.
She pointed out that there is no tourism officer based in County Louth.
“We need one based in Drogheda, someone who can be available to visit the region, who knows the challenges and opportunities.
"I welcome the response from the Executive that Termonfeckin, Clogherhead and Baltray are being considered for tourism hubs on the Boyne Valley Drive. We have a real chance boost the local economy and create a sustainable tourism opportunity,” she concluded.
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