The Mayor of Galway, Niall McNelis is hoping common sense will prevail and that Galway City Council will help re-open Salthill’s tourist office. It was built in 1997, and stayed open for 19 years, but since 2016 then it has been lying idle after Bórd Fáilte made a decision closed it.
“I am looking to see that it is opened up on a permanent scale as a tourist office that will be run by the local community,” Mayor McNelis said, speaking to Galway Pulse.
Salthill is regarded as one of the most scenic parts of Galway City. There is a whole host of bars, restaurants and hotels. It has a year-round busy beach, and the popular Promenade surrounding it.
The Mayor believes that it should be re-opened to benefit the surrounding businesses that inhabit the seaside-town.
Mayor McNelis said, “We will get the motion passed, but the Executive have to make a decision. Do they want an empty building in Salthill? Or do they want something that can be in it that is safe, and secure, and they could also generate a profitable income in the future. I am really confident.”
“I have met with the Chief Executive (Brendan McGrath) this week. I have discussed it with him. If they can come back to me and see what kind of terms can be done. Even if was just for the next 12 months, while I believe there is an appeal happening with the Penguinarium.”
McNelis told Galway Pulse that when the tourist office was built in the late 1990s, after the Galway Aquarium was opened it was planned that a penguinarium would be built beside it, but it was shelved after the recession. In the last few years plans have been re-drawn.
“This year we are expecting 3.1 million visitors to come through Galway city. If we had somewhere that could be a centrepiece, that could be also used for crafts, people could display their works, and the business people of Salthill could conduct their meetings there.”
“The fact that is the centre of the Wild Atlantic Way, the amount of commission they could get from the various tour companies doing trips to the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, and from the Burren.”
“The main thing for us is to get them (the tourists) out to Salthill. Instead of just having a season three or four months, have a season that is going on for eight or nine months long.”