Becoming the Anti-Tourism Officer

At the end of each year, we look back at the previous 12 months. We reflect on what’s been good, bad, made us happy or sad. It’s also a time we look to the future, at least the next 12 months. We start to dream, to plan, to organise and hope that this will be the year that it all comes together.

I’m a planner. I’m always thinking ahead. Working months in advance on projects and events, marketing Bundoran and what we can do differently. Little did I (or anyone I guess) think that by March this year I would be working on a campaign to keep people out of Bundoran, cancelling events and literally becoming the anti-tourism officer. But this is what it’s become and this is now our way of life (hopefully just temporarily).

In what will go down as one of the strangest few weeks in all of our lives, we began with our #BundoranWillWait campaign on March 31st which was embraced by the tourism trade in Bundoran and shared widely.

Then came the Easter weekend and the possibility that people would travel from all over to enjoy the outdoor amenities of Bundoran. Ordinarily this would be a great proposition and we would welcome them with open arms. However the risk was (and as I write this, still is) very real and we needed to continue to discourage travelling and continue to encourage social distancing and staying apart.

We launched our #BundoranWillWait video and it had 30,000 views in 24 hours. RTE News wanted to talk to us as did TG4 News, iRadio (see below), BBC Foyle and Virgin Media News.

Being interviewed on RTE Six One News

Donegal locals appeal to people to stay away

Locals in Co Donegal have appealed to people to stay away over the Easter weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic | Read more: https://bit.ly/2y2IdDe

Posted by RTÉ News on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Thankfully, having hammered the message home for the past week, it seems to have worked. In these strange times, we, as a community, are thankful to those who respected our wishes and didn’t visit Bundoran this weekend (and with the fine weather, what a weekend it would have been!).

We’ve got at least another 3 weeks of this craziness ahead of us and who knows what will happen after that. We hope that after this time some semblance of normality will be resumed but there’s no doubt that this has changed life as we know it now and forever more.

For now, stay safe and stay home. Bundoran will wait. And we will be ready to party once this is over.

Shane Smyth appearing on Virgin Media News on Good Friday 2020
Shane Smyth appearing on Virgin Media News on Good Friday 2020

Read about what Shane’s actual job is in normal times!

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