A NEW Fáilte Ireland TV ad for the Wild Atlantic Way raised eyebrows in West Cork this week when it was spotted that Cork was the only major county on the route not featured.
The ad, which is airing on RTÉ, TV3, Channel Four and a number of Sky channels, amongst others, includes footage of Mullaghmore (Co Sligo); Achill (Co Mayo); Ballinskelligs (Co Kerry); Derrigimlagh (Co. Galway); Fanad Lighthouse (Co Donegal) and the Cliffs of Moher (Co Clare).
The ad is the flagship element of an advertising campaign that was launched this week by Minister of State for Tourism, Patrick O’Donovan TD.
The TV campaign is also being accompanied by advertising across national and local radio, outdoor, online and social media channels, and will run during May and will be repeated in September and October.
In response to seeing the ad, local Fine Gael Deputy Jim Daly said he would be seeking ‘that locations are rotated to include Cork on future TV ads’.
Although the Tourism Ireland website refers to the ‘seven’ counties of the Wild Atlantic Way, meaning Cork is the only one omitted from the TV ad, a statement from Fáilte Ireland this week referred to the ‘nine’ counties of the route.
‘It was not possible to feature all nine counties effectively across a 30-second TV ad,’ a statement said.
The spokesperson added: ‘While Cork does not feature in the television ad, the county does play a pivotal role in the overall campaign featuring heavily in the national and regional radio advertisements, as well as taking significant space in our outdoor advertising.’
Eileen O’Shea of Bantry Development and Tourism, said that while Fáilte Ireland ‘has done great work in promoting this very scenic route’ the omission of Cork again draws attention to the Wild Atlantic Way map produced last year, which had some of the towns in West Cork badly marked.
‘This map is still being used by visitors. It is disappointing that West Cork is not used in this nationwide promotion, particularly as the WAW starts in Kinsale,’ she told The Southern Star.
She added: ‘Here at Bantry Tourist office we have seen a 10% increase in numbers in the month of April, with the biggest increase coming from the French market.’