Last weekend my family and I headed to Dromineer, on the shores of Lough Derg in Co. Tipperary. The Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter was visiting for the day, organised by the local Lifeboat Station.
For anyone who’s never been to Dromineer it’s a beautiful spot. It has an ample beach, a jetty, marina, children’s playground, a pub, a shop, a hostel, a hotel, a yacht club (the oldest in the world), a sailing school, a castle ruins and of course a big lake. It’s got quiet a bit going for it.
It’s surprising therefore that it is so underused. We often pop over for a visit with the kids. But the visits are always brief as there’s never ‘anything’ going on. By ‘anything’, I mean no people around, the buzz you get when visiting other holiday touristy locations, the holiday atmosphere, the sights and sounds you would normally expect at any lakeside/beach resort.
There are lots of reasons why this could be. The hotel is closed for starters. However even when it was open it was still the same.If you Google ‘Dromineer Tipperary’ there are mentions of it on several other websites, but it doesn’t have it’s own site to promote itself. Maybe the locals prefer having no tourists around. As far as I can tell nobody seems to be trying to promote it as a recreational destination. I’ve never received a press release or news story to publish.
It was a hot day and we went for ice cream at the only shop in the village. The two photos below were taken from outside the shop. In the first one you can make out the childrens playground on the right with the edge of the marina beside it. The hotel and hostel is to the far right of the playground (not in photo)
The second photo shows the car park in front of the shop and more of the marina with boats etc. The pub, The Whiskey Still is further over to the left. The shop is located in the centre of the ‘business district’ so to speak.
This next photo shows the shop with my wife and children sitting on the steps eating ice cream.
Notice anything missing?
Where’s the table and chairs to sit at while enjoying your snacks?
The collection of beachballs, buckets and spades and other beach type paraphenalia?
A sign or two letting you know it was a shop wouldn’t go astray either.
Unlike some of the other villages along the shores of Lough Derg which are small and compact, Dromineer is spread out over a larger area. The shop is pretty much in the centre of the village once you leave the shoreline. It should be the focus of attention. It should create that holiday atmosphere. It could easily do it. If there was a table and chairs outside the shop we would happily have stayed there longer and bought more goodies. A few buckets and spades and beachballs on display would give that beach feeling. It doesn’t matter a damn if they never sold one. I know this works.
Years and years ago we had a little shop (very little) added into the corner of the family pub in Borrisoleigh. We sold only sweets and essentials like bread and milk. We had the first ice cream cone machine in the town. We hung buckets and spades outside the window. People called it the beach shop and bought loads of ice cream. Several commented how they loved it, as it reminded them of holidays etc. That good feeling they got transformed into increased sales. We never sold any buckets or spades. We weren’t trying to.
Maybe transforming that shop into another ‘beach’ shop wouldn’t bring 1000’s of visitors to the village. It certainly wouldn’t turn them away. It just might help create that bit of buzz that Dromineer is so badly lacking. And it just might make it a bit more enjoyable to buy ice cream from.
A coherent marketing plan is essential for any business to thrive. And all parts of the business should work in tandem to ensure success. Like any machine, if some nut and bolts are missing, it won’t work properly. In the case of Dromineer, while the buckets and spades are missing, it won’t work properly either.