26 January 2016, Tuesday
By Bryan T. Smyth
‘Growing Tourism in Cork’ – A Collective Strategy, an ambitious new Tourism Strategy for Cork was launched this morning at Cork International Airport and intends to make Cork a ‘must see’ destination in Ireland for domestic and international visitors.
The ambitious new targeted 5 year plan (2015-20) incorporates a unified approach developed by the Cork Tourism Strategy Taskforce and is designed to increase domestic and international visitors to Cork by in excess of half a million and the knock-on boost to the local economy is projected to be in the region of €865 million. It also will encourage the dispersal of visitors across the entire county and extend the length of the tourism season.
The strategy is the result of a number of years’ targeted market research which included several rounds of stakeholder engagement which have culminated in the delivery of four plans with defined, measurable actions and deliverables. The research findings are supported by an implementation framework to ensure that Cork can reach its tourism potential over the next five years and beyond. The strategy will be delivered through Visit Cork, a newly formed leisure tourism organization.
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
“I want to at the earliest opportunity pay tribute to the Chief Executives of both Cork County Council and Cork City Council for taking the initiative to bring together, in conjunction with other key industry and state partners, a core strategy group to lead and develop this strategy and action plan. 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”
Also speaking at this morning’s launch Chairman of the Cork Tourism Strategy Taskforce, Mr. Ger O’Mahoney commented “the research we commissioned during the development of this strategy points 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.
Visit Cork will be complementary to existing tourism organizations and will be initially funded by Cork County Council, Cork City Council and Dublin Airport Authority.