Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber said that it is disappointing but not surprising the decision by Failte Ireland not to reopen the Tourist Office on The Quay.

“Speaking to Failte Ireland they explained that because of the current climate and because they had redeployed their staff to the Business Continuity Scheme, they were limiting the openings based on 2019 footfall figures to the Top Ten performing offices and Waterford fell well short of that.

“Unfortunately this is the second year running this decision has been made. We were very vocal in our dismay at this decision last year to Failte Ireland and lobbied extensively on the matter. In fact, we went so far as to offer to staff the office on a part time basis with our experienced team from the Tramore Tourist Information Centre, which we operate. This was again offered for this year but wasn’t taken up.

“We all know that Waterford has fantastic tourism potential and instead of taking the poor me approach, we need to take a look at how we can actually increase our footfall and ensure that we are in the Top Ten.

“There are plans to bring the Greenway into the city centre by the end of July and to develop a Farmer’s Market at Blackfriars, this has been agreed by Waterford City & County Council, following our representation after our Big Little Ideas and Resurgence 25X campaigns.

“These will certainly add to the city centre footfall, along with our festivals and outdoor offerings. If we all work together, look upon this as a challenge to overcome and actually put measures in place, there will be no option but for Failte Ireland to strongly reconsider opening the Tourist Office in the shortest possible timeframe.”