13 May 2015
By Elaine Murphy
Here at TheCork.ie we love the Wild Atlantic Way: so much so that last year Reporter David O’Sullivan drove the Cork section [listen to his journey here].
Now, Tourism operators from Co. Cork are attending Fáilte Ireland’s initial Ireland’s Ancient East stakeholder workshop at The Walter Raleigh Hotel, Youghal, Co Cork, this morning (Wednesday 13th May 2015) to learn more about the new initiative and to discuss how they can work with the national tourism authority to bring this new tourism initiative to life in the South and East region.
Ireland’s Ancient East, which includes County Cork, is a mirror of the Wild Atlantic Way. Based alone the East Coast instead it extends from Carlingford to Cork and Cavan to Carnsore and is based on 5,000 years of history, heritage and culture all located in that relatively compact region.
Following comprehensive research in overseas markets, the initiative will be aimed at specific market segments overseas who have indicated they would be more likely to come to Ireland to take in history and culture, explore new landscapes, or simply take time out from their busy lives and careers to connect with local heritage and nature. The proposition will be crafted along four distinct thematic pillars – Ancient Ireland, Early Christian Ireland, Medieval Ireland and Anglo Ireland.
Ireland’s Ancient East is an evolving project and work is now beginning to prepare it for the tourism season next year. The initial launch in April of this year was made to the international buyers who are currently planning ahead for the 2016/2017 and, now, Failte Ireland and tourism interests are putting considerable effort into bringing Ireland’s Ancient East to life on the ground.
In the months ahead, investment in a major signage programme and in supports for attractions and heritage sites will be rolled out. The preparatory work also includes working with tourism stakeholders on the ground to work with them on bringing the new idea to life. Today’s workshop introduced the new brand to the South and East region, explored the great stories in Co. Cork that will augment the visitor’s experience of the area, and examined how local tourism operators, local community groups and other interested parties can become an active part of Ireland’s Ancient East, and develop their experience to be fit for purpose for the international visitor.
Speaking at the meeting, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Programmes for Ireland’s Ancient East, Jenny De Saulles explained –
“We all need to ensure the experience which overseas visitors will ultimately enjoy on the ground meets the ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ promise. The key to the initiative’s success will be how the local history is illuminated by local people, communities and tourism stakeholders. To that end, Fáilte Ireland is meeting and working with local interested parties over the coming months to enlist their support and expertise to bring the project to life locally and our tourism partners in County Cork have a key role to play in that regard.”
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