29 February 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD was pictured recently with Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals Ciara Sugrue as preparations get underway for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Cork.
Last year, Fáilte Ireland announced funding of up to €65,000 to help support and develop Cork’s St. Patrick’s Day events over the next three years as part of their plan to develop St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in locations across the country.
Speaking about the importance of St Patrick’s Day, Minister of State Griffin said:
“Festivals and events play a critical role in delivering brilliant visitor experiences and St. Patrick’s Day provides a significant opportunity to attract overseas visitors to Ireland outside the traditional peak tourism season. I look forward to seeing great celebrations in Cork.”
The theme of this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Cork will be ‘Cork – A City Rising 1920-2020’, celebrating the centenary of a very important year in the history of Cork.
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue, added:
“We are positioning Ireland as ‘the’ place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. A sizeable number of visitors go to Dublin every year for the St Patrick’s Festival but as part of our strategy to spread the benefits of tourism, we also want to develop St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in locations across the country.
We have been working with the festival organisers on a development plan for the festival over the last few months and, with a strong international proposition, we believe that Cork’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations have the potential to motivate significant numbers of overseas visitors.”
As the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland has identified festivals as a key component for tourism growth. The tourism development body is aiming to grow overseas visitors coming to Ireland to attend a festival to 300,000 by 2022. This growth is expected to generate €150 million in revenue. Taking place outside the traditional peak tourism season combined with the geographical spread of celebrations across Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day provides a significant opportunity to grow tourism and extend the season.