FÁILTE Ireland will no longer be using the term ‘Haven Coast’ when referring to a part of West Cork, because of ‘confusion’.
The tourism body has confirmed it will now simply promote the brand ‘West Cork’ in its promotional material for the Wild Atlantic Way.
The announcement was made at the recent meeting of the joint committee on media, tourism, arts and culture, sport and the Gaeltacht.
Cork South West Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan, a member of the committee, told The Southern Star that he has welcomed this clarification and the decision to use only the brand ‘West Cork’.
‘The idea they proposed was to split up the WAW route, with one area covering the three peninsulas which would take in the Beara and Mizen Peninsula, but also Kerry, and that was confusing,’ said Deputy O’Sullivan.
‘The other proposal was to create the Haven Coast, stretching from Courtmacsherry to Baltimore, and they had been working on this for a year-and-a-half. I think their idea was to split up the experience but they have now decided to push the brand as West Cork.’
Chief executive of Fáilte Ireland Paul Kelly said at the meeting that describing part of the region as the ‘Haven Coast’ had led to confusion.
‘There is absolutely no intention to divide up the WAW and the Wild Atlantic Way is the Wild Atlantic Way. The Haven Coast was a way of describing part of the WAW. It was not intended to be a brand on its own or anything like that and we have dialled back from that as it was very much creating confusion,’ said Mr Kelly.
Deputy O’Sullivan said that this represents how seriously tourism authorities take West Cork, and how the region will be dealt with, and thought about, by tourism bodies, going forward.
‘West Cork is unique. Our food offering is phenomenal.Some would argue we are different from the rest of Ireland because of our rich musical talent, our arts festivals and well, of course, there is that scenery.’
Deputy O’Sullivan has also asked both Mr Kelly and Niall Gibbons (chief executive of Tourism Ireland) to give more recognition to marine tourism.
‘There’s not enough recognition of the fact that we have some of the best whale watching on the planet. There was agreement there and now we need to see that reflected in marketing strategies.’
This week the Tourism Ireland website was still promoting the Haven Coast as reaching ‘from dreamy Bantry Bay through Skibbereen and on to Kinsale’ and somewhat confusingly, added that the Fastnet Rock was also ‘on the horizon’ – meaning the area branded ‘The Haven Coast’ stretched for the entire coastline of West Cork.