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Report reveals disparity on tourism promotion spend

Improving mountain bike trails is just one of many exciting plans to regenerate the scenic Gortin Glens. (Photo: Andrew Montgomery)

A report on the marketing and promotion of tourism in the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area has revealed six times more has been allocated to promoting Fermanagh than Tyrone.

The council part finances Fermanagh and Lakelands Ltd through service level agreements to market and promote both the Fermanagh Lakelands and the Omagh and Sperrins area with a total budget of £145,600.

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But just £22,600 has been allocated for promoting Omagh and the Sperrins.

Fermanagh and Lakeland Tourism (FLT) Ltd’s main objectives are based around developing and promoting the Erne County as a premier tourism destination. One way it does this is through marketing and promotional campaigns.

But it’s also now responsible for doing the same for Omagh and the Sperrins through its agreement with the council.

In a six page report to the council’s regeneration and community committee on November 14, FLT outlined how the £123,000 budget for promoting Co Fermanagh had been put to use over the periods to the end of September.

The budget includes £91,000 on tourism marketing/operational costs; £20,000 on the Lakelands and Inland Waterways; and £12,000 on Destination Fermanagh. The service level agreement for Fermanagh was issued on June 20, 2017.

A separate two page report outlined the use of the £22,600 allocated for Omagh and the Sperrins during the same period.

The budget includes £15,500 for marketing. That agreement was issued on July 19, 2017.

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The report revealed that almost two-thirds of the budget for Omagh and the Sperrins (£14,274.35) had already been spent or allocated at the end of September.

It includes £3,190 committed for a new website and another £3,550 on an autumn and winter campaign. Another £1,730 is committed for the cost of a stand at ‘Dublin Holiday World’, while £1,679 has been spent on voucher booklets.

The activity in the Omagh district area has included a meeting where tourism industry providers were invited to the Strule Arts Centre to discuss marketing. Of the 74 businesses invited, ten attended.

A working group set up to implement marketing activity has also met five times to date.

The report also contains modest figures for new social media accounts and a website set up around promoting Omagh and the Sperrins. According to the report exploreomaghsperrins.com had 8,500 page views over five months.

Some 10,000 discount voucher booklets have also been produced and distributed.

The reports were noted by councillors at the regeneration and community committee without any discussion.

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