5 October 2023
By Tom Collins
Tourism Ireland in San Francisco – together with Visit Cork and six Cork tourism operators – recently hosted a Cork showcase event in San Francisco. Sixty (60) leading travel trade and media contacts from the San Francisco Bay Area were in attendance and heard all about the many things to see and do in Cork city and county, right throughout the year. The event included a video message from the Lord Mayor of Cork and presentations from each of the Cork tourism operators. Guests also enjoyed traditional Irish music and a whiskey-tasting of Clonakilty Whiskey.
Cork has a long-standing connection with California and the west coast of the United States, with the Cork-San Francisco Sister City relationship having been established in 1984. So, another theme at the showcase was the upcoming 40th anniversary of that relationship, which will include a year-round programme of events in both Cork and San Francisco.
Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Western USA, said: “Our Cork showcase event was an excellent opportunity to highlight Cork city and county to key travel professionals and journalists from the San Francisco Bay Area. Our aim was to promote the many things to see and do in Cork, right throughout the year. We also highlighted ease of access to Ireland, with direct flights from San Francisco to Dublin, operated by Aer Lingus.”
During their time in California, the Cork tourism operators also split into two teams and conducted a series of sales calls to leisure and business travel buyers in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Montecito and San Francisco.
The western region of the United States is important for tourism to the island of Ireland. Holidaymakers from there represent one-fifth of all US holidaymakers for Ireland. They are frequent travellers and more likely to stay longer (62% stay six+ nights vs 56% of other US visitors).