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Erne Lakelands Tourism
Start date: Dec 31, 2002, End date: Dec 30, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

To develop and market new facilities and tourism activities. To map, co-ordinate and market current local community festivals and tourism activities. The end outcome would be a 'Wave around the Erne' Lakelands festival held in 2005 and annually thereafter. We hope toa chieve a Lakelands cultural identify based apon the Erne from Loch Gowna to South Fermanagh which is supported through joint cross border marketing and community development approaches. Achievements: Erne Lakelands Tourism (ELT) is a community tourism project which has continued as a network to promote tourism in the border counties. ELT achievements during the funding of the project include the development of the Information Exchange Email Network post funding to promote tourism (120 members), a training and support role, newsletters, promotional website, attendance at trade fairs, an ELT brochure and the annual Calendars of Events and Cultural Fests. This successful work programme hasplayed a vital role in promoting tourism in our Erne Lakelands area - Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh.It acted as a Community Link between local communities, associations, groups, private tourist providers and regional and national tourism bodies. It is a unique community tourism network based on the ground, promoting tourism which links Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh, based around the River Erne and Lakes.ELT operated an information exchange and training role, e.g. email network information exchange, website and training programmes. It also assisted with product development and in particular running a Packaging Course. Networking and Representational/Lobbying roles included issues such as transport infrastructure, Killykeen Forest Park and Open the Waterways.The project acknowledged the changing face of tourism and in doing so were better placed to provide more activities for families of anglers, e.g. golf, good food and play/walk areas. It produced annually a Calendar of Events and organised Festivals such as Culture Fest which helped extend the tourist season. It actively promoted the region by inviting specialist journalists/agents to stay and then report on of what’s available in the Erne Lakelands area.Tom O’Dowd, Chair of Erne Lakelands Tourism stated that “We are at the crossroads in terms of tourism development in our border counties. We face difficult and challenging times particularly for our B & B and Guesthouse sector. However, there are great opportunities and potential, particularly in the farming and rural community and tourism sector to further develop tourism initiatives that will bring greater prosperity to our region. We can regenerate our region by opening waterways and managing the process in such a way that protects fishing interests and allows for leisure and recreational visitors to enjoy our rivers and lakes. A ‘Wave Around The Erne’ that benefits localcommunities, angling, recreational and cultural visitors is our ongoing objective”.
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