25 June 2015
By David O’Sullivan
First there was the Wild Atlantic Way, now a ‘West Cork Way’ is being planned.
What is it?
West Cork Fine Gael TD Jim Daly wants it to be a walking trail from Cork Airport to Mizen Head.
The West Cork Way would consist of identifying a walking route that may be along local and regional roads and perhaps private land in some cases with the consent of the owners. The only infrastructure the TD proposes to start with is signage.
The trail would travel through local villages, scenic areas and identify the hospitality services along the way.
What’s the point?
Simple answer: Marketing.
It’s not enough to have a great product or service, it has to be marketed and packaged to get people to use it.
Jim Daly organised a conference in Inchydoney in March. His goal was to foster “joined up thinking between all the stake-holders” in an effort to market West Cork abroad. Deputy Daly is one of those involved in marketing West Cork as an ‘Outdoor Pursuits Hub’. The TD said he “has received overwhelming support from the Local Authority (Cork County Council), the Tourism Agencies and the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe”, indeed, a Tourism Strategy Group has been established between Fáilte Ireland and the CEOs of both Cork County and City Council’s for the first time.
Will it work?
Most likely, yes. Cork is home to a plethora of attractions, yet as we all know – from travelling abroad ourselves – we need a helping hand or a ‘guide’ to squeeze everything in. The Lonely Planet made a business from that need.