The Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen is investing over £4 million in increasing its accommodation capacity, enhancing conference facilities and building an integral high quality leisure centre.

The Invest Northern Ireland backed expansion was announced today by Invest NI Chief Executive, Leslie Morrison, who said that it would allow the hotel to reposition itself strategically and to achieve growth by attracting new market segments.

The expansion will create an additional 27 bedrooms and allow the hotel to offer full fitness and spa facilities both to its residents, and to the local community on a membership basis. The new facilities will enable the hotel to target specific markets including the family oriented short stay market, larger corporate clients and coach tour operators.

Welcoming the investment, Leslie Morrison said: “This ambitious project will enhance the hotel’s competitiveness in the market place, create job opportunities and contribute to the development of the tourism industry in Fermanagh. The hotel’s policy of targeting specific market sectors is consistent with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s marketing strategy for promoting the area, which advocates packaging tourism products to meet customer demands.

“The Killyhevlin Hotel has strong track record, an experienced management team, a good relationship with its regular customers, and a reputation for high quality service. In line with Invest NI’s Principles for Business Support we have offered the hotel a tailored package of assistance which is helping it to invest in capability as well as in capacity, which is key to its long-term viability.”

Work on the expansion is scheduled to be completed in 2005 and managing director, Rodney Watson, is confident that he will see a substantial increase in turnover as a result of the investment.

“The new facilities will allow us to market to a wider audience and we’re expecting to see an increase in the number of visitors from outside Northern Ireland. Fermanagh is an area of outstanding natural beauty and this expansion will mean that the area will become accessible to coach tour operators who require hotels with more than 60 rooms, and corporate booking agencies which view leisure facilities as an important part of the package on offer. “