THERE were no West Cork businesses represented on a recent Tourism Ireland-organised Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) roadshow in Europe, although several East Cork businesses attended.
East Cork is not on the WAW route, it is part of Ireland’s Ancient East tourism region.
A total of 18 Irish tourism companies joined the Tourism Ireland (TI) Wild Atlantic Way roadshow in Europe last month – including Beyond the Glass Adventure Tours (based on St Patrick’s Quay in Cork city), Cork Airport, Experience Gaelic Games (with a location at Na Piarsaigh hurling & football club), Jameson Distillery in Midleton, Pure Cork, Spike Island (Cobh) and The Montenotte Hotel on the city’s northside.
The four-city sales mission visited Milan, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, to promote the Wild Atlantic Way.
TI said last week that businesses ‘located along the Wild Atlantic Way’ were invited, but this week clarified that all Irish tourism businesses on its email database were invited, on a first come/first served basis, but no West Cork businesses made the grade.
‘I don’t know if any West Cork businesses were interested in attending or not, but places are generally allocated on a first come, first served basis, so perhaps the ones in East Cork were first to register,’ said a spokesperson.
They added that it was up to individual businesses to decide if the opportunity was of interest to them or not and then to sign up if it was.
The roadshow – which included presentations, one-to-one meetings and networking opportunities – was described by the tourism body as ‘a valuable opportunity for the tourism companies from the Wild Atlantic Way to meet with top European travel trade representatives and journalists.’
‘In each of the four cities, the aim was to inform and educate the travel professionals and journalists about the many things to see and do along the Wild Atlantic Way,’ a statement explained.
‘A key message for Tourism Ireland was ease of access from Milan, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt – with direct flights from each city to the Wild Atlantic Way, including direct flights from Milan, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt to Cork Airport.’
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Southern Europe, said TI was delighted that so many key travel trade representatives and journalists took the time to come and meet TI partners from the Wild Atlantic Way in Milan, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt – ‘to hear all about the many things to see and do on our spectacular west coast’.
Meanwhile, the Office of Public Works released its Top 10 paid visitor attractions last year. Charles Fort in Kinsale, the only West Cork site on the list, came in at No 10.