Laois’ only tourist office, in Portlaoise, is proving elusive to find for visitors and county councillors who are are not even sure of its opening hours.
Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley did not know that the tourist office was even still open for business.
“A guest at the Heritage Hotel told me that he looked for the tourist office. There is a huge emphasis on tourism in the CEO’s economic plan, but we don’t have an office. Could something be done? We used to have one in Lyster Square,” she said at a recent county council meeting.
The tourist ended up doing “a lap of honour” of Portlaoise trying to follow a directional signpost for the office, she claimed..
“At least remove the sign,” she suggested.
She was speaking after a presentation by the CEO John Mulholland, on the part tourism can play in the development of Laois' economy. at the May council meeting.
Cllr Jerry Lodge told her the office was still there.
“We do have a tourist office but the sign is gone, it is open two days a week,” he said.
The CEO John Mulholland is hoping to boost tourism to Laois as part of economic development, and has suggested using county hall, with its newly designed 1916 public garden, as a base of information for visitors to Laois.
“We have our front area now and that’s a role we could take,” he said.
Laois tourist office is in Lyster Square facing James Fintan Lawlor Avenue, in the same building as Allbooks bookshop. It opens five days a week, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, offering leaflets and advice to tourists.