WEST Cork is set to become one of the top cruise line destinations, according to a top ocean cruise magazine.
In a recent issue of widely-read Cruise Business Review, one of the top cruise company executives worldwide described West Cork, and especially Bantry Bay, as a place apart and a must-see on any trip to the area.
‘This magazine is circulated to over 6,500 of the top executive decision makers in the cruise industry and places West Cork as a niche destination in their minds,’ said James Fogarty, Cork County Council’s divisional manager.
It will be used with other promotional material on one-to-one visits to shore handlers and cruise companies in the UK and Germany over 2015, he said.
A key promotional event will be the Seatrade Cruise Conference that takes place every second year in Hamburg in Germany next September.
This brings all the European players together under one roof for a three-day event.
‘West Cork will be well placed this September to present the destination in the best possible light to contacts made over the past 12 months. The co-operation with Bantry Bay Port company is an essential part of this promotional strategy,’ Mr Fogarty told The Southern Star.
His optimism was echoed by local Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG).
‘I am delighted with the promotion of Bantry Bay in such a top class media publication. It highlights all we have to offer in the area and it is up to us now to ensure that we build on this and keep Bantry Bay a destination of choice for the cruise line companies,’ she said.
The potential of Bantry Bay as a cruise line destination has been on the radar of the Port of Cork Authority for many years and the development of the bay as a marine tourism and leisure hub is well underway.
‘With between eight to ten cruise ships arriving into the bay every year we now want to promote Bantry Bay worldwide with the strong links we have within the cruise line industry, Paul O’Regan of the Port of Cork Authority, told The Southern Star.
‘We will also work with local organisations and the County Council to ensure that we can provide the facilities to enhance Bantry Bay’s potential.’