The new Limerick Marketing Company hopes to attract up to 800,000 visitors to the region in the next five years by modelling itself, in particular, on what was achieved in Manchester.
The creation of the company is one of three key pillars of Limerick 2030, the economic and spatial plan aimed at delivering the economic, social and physical renaissance of the city and county.
The new entity will be headed up by Eoghan Prendergast who said Limerick has missed out on investment opportunities that other locations in the country have benefited from.
“From here on, however, we will have one voice marketing, packaging and selling the Limerick message smarter than ever before to make sure that Limerick will be to the fore when those investment decisions are being made,” he said.
Mr Prendergast added that the company will model itself on international best practice and has, in particular, taken a leaf from the Manchester book.
“In the 1990s Manchester took an interagency, collaborative approach, just like we now have, and turned things around dramatically by marketing the city in a coherent, collective and clear way.
“The return has been phenomenal; it is now the second most popular city in the UK (after Edinburgh) for international visitors and is a major centre for creative industries. That’s an example we intend to follow,” he said.
Speaking at the launch of the new company, manager /CEO of Limerick City and County Councils, Conn Murray, said it will have a pivotal role in the re-emergence of Limerick.
“It is a unique differentiator for Limerick in having its own marketing company which can bring together the resources of the professionals in this sector and use it to drive forward a new image of Limerick,” he said.
“For example, from a tourism perspective, Limerick had 383,000 overseas visitors alone in 2011, generating revenue of €143m. We want to double that and do even more with the domestic market within five years.
“The same target applies to potential visits; we want to double, and more, the number of itinerary visits to limerick of foreign direct investment companies,” he said.
The company will be a fully-resourced operation and funded by Limerick City and County Council.
Marketing the City of Culture programme will be the first major undertaking by the new office.