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‘Ambitious strategy’ could bring €865m to the county

Thursday, 18th February, 2016 11:50am
‘Ambitious strategy’ could bring €865m to the county

At the launch were, from left: Denis Kelly, Avondhu Blackwater Partnership; Tim Lucey, Cork County Council chief executive; Valerie Murphy, CEO, Avondhu Blackwater Partnership; County Mayor John Paul O’Shea, and Maura Hunter, Regional Chambers

DESCRIBED by Cork County Council as an ‘ambitious’ new Tourism Strategy for Cork, the report was launched at Cork International Airport.

It was an appropriate location for the launch, as the initiative is a joint venture between the local authorities and the DAA, which runs Cork Airport.

The County Council said the strategy intends to make Cork a ‘must-see’ destination in Ireland for domestic and international visitors and is designed to increase domestic and international visitors to Cork by in excess of half a million. 

The knock-on boost to the local economy is projected to be in the region of €865m. 

‘It also will encourage the dispersal of visitors across the entire county and extend the length of the tourism season,’ the Council said. 

The strategy is to be delivered through Visit Cork, a newly-formed leisure tourism organisation.

Speaking at the launch the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea commended all involved for the ‘enormous body of work’ already completed in delivering the strategy.

‘At the time of the commencement of this initiative the group was charged with delivering a realisable but challenging strategy, with the aim of maximising the economic return from tourism to Cork – in terms of overseas visitor numbers, revenues and employment and I believe they have fully delivered on their remit,’ he said.

Chairman of the Cork Tourism Strategy Taskforce, Ger O’Mahoney from PwC said the research commissioned during the development of the strategy pointed to the ‘unique opportunity for a specific visitor proposition for Cork’. 

‘Cork is ideally situated at the gateway of Ireland’s key tourism propositions, Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, positively positioning Cork within the leisure tourism market nationally and internationally,’ he said.

Visit Cork will be complementary to existing tourism organisations and will be initially funded by Cork County Council, Cork City Council and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce last wek welcomed the plan. Chamber director Emma O’Brien, a solicitor with Collins Brooks and Associates and member of the Cork Airport Development Council, represented the region on the Tourism Leadership Group. 

‘It is a great achievement for our town and indeed for the West Cork region to be represented as part of the Tourism Leadership Group responsible for the Tourism Action Plan,’ said Noel Lawlor of the Chamber. 

‘Clonakilty Chamber is currently engaged in a new marketing initiative for the town that aims to capture both the local and visitor experience, highlighting festivals and events linked with heritage, music, food, scenic beauty and much more. Details and a new logo are expected to launch in the coming months.’

 Mr Lawlor added that the wider focus of planning is based on the needs of people living in the town and visitors to the town.