By Siobhán Cronin
BANTRY Bay Port Company is beginning to position itself as a ‘unique destination’ for smaller boutique cruises, with cruise calls set to rise in the coming years.
That’s according to its parent company, the Port of Cork, which commented that the visiting cruise passengers are making an important contribution to the local economy.
Traffic at the Port of Cork and subsidiaries was up in 2015, compared with a year earlier, according to the Port’s annual results.
The combined traffic amounted to 11.02m tonnes compared to 10.15m tonnes in 2014, which represented an increase of 8.6%.
Turnover for the year 2015 amounted to €29.8m – up from €26.4m in 2014.
Among the highlights for the Port company last year was the unveiling of outline plans for Phase 1 of the Bantry Inner Harbour Development, costing in the region of €8.5m. Construction has since begun on this project.
Commenting on the 2015 annual results, chief executive Brendan Keating said: ‘Our annual results for 2015 are very encouraging and reflective of the capabilities of the Port to support growth in the Irish economy. We are hopeful that the upward trend will continue over the next three to four years.’
Speaking about marine tourism in Ireland, Port of Cork Chairman John Mullins said that both the Ports of Cork and Bantry play key roles in the promotion of marine tourism.
‘In 2015 Bantry Bay Port Company launched Ireland’s first Blueway initiative which has proven to be hugely popular with local and international visitors. In 2015 the Port of Cork welcomed 56 cruise liners to Cork Harbour, bringing over 144,000 passengers and crew to the region.’
He added that Bantry Bay Port Company is now beginning to position itself as a unique destination for smaller boutique cruises, with cruise calls set to rise in the coming years.
‘Visiting cruise passengers make a huge contribution to the regional economy,’ he said.