Ennis has been declared a ‘Coach Friendly Town’ by the Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland (CTTC), a representative body for Ireland’s coach touring companies and private bus operators.
The County Capital is one of only three towns in Ireland to have successfully achieved the status following a submission by a joint working group comprising Clare County Council and Ennis Chamber.
Friar’s Walk Coach Park, located close to glór, was developed by the former Ennis Town Council and was officially opened in 2012. The free coach park features 14 spaces, on-site facilities and a drop-off / pick-up bus shelter 100m from the town centre. The site is also equipped with a Water Supply for Coach Washing, Waste Water Disposal Facilities and 24-hour CCTV Monitoring.
Councillor Paul Murphy, Mayor of Ennis, said the accreditation will have the potential to “significantly increase the volume of visitors to the town resulting in a very welcome boost to the local economy.”
“Coach Tourism remains very important for the local tourism and hospitality sector and therefore, this accreditation will greatly assist ongoing efforts to encourage additional operators to the town,” he added.
Welcoming the news, William Cahir, President of Ennis Chamber, said: “The provision of accessible, available and convenient coach parking facilities in the centre of Ennis at Friars Walk has delivered a significant boost to the local economy over the past five years.”
He continued, “It is estimated that a coach of visitors can spend up to €3,000 on a short day trip of shopping in Ennis’ attractive shops, boutiques and restaurants. Ennis Chamber looks forward to working with Clare County Council in using this newly gained ‘Coach Friendly Town’ status to further promote the town as a tourist destination town and a great place stay, shop and enjoy.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, commented, “The lack of ample coach parking in Ennis town centre previously was a major issue for coach and bus operators and consequently the town lost out on potential business. However, the development by the Council of the Friar’s Walk Coach Park has rectified this longstanding issue and has helped to deliver a welcome boost to businesses in the town. The naming of Ennis as a ‘Coach Friendly Town’ will enable Ennis to enjoy the economic benefits that such a status has delivered for Sligo and Dungarvan in recent years.”