Cruisers’ Choice award for Cobh ‘down to hard work’

Being named as one of the five best ports to visit in Western Europe is very prestigious for the town of Cobh and has come about through a lot of hard work.

Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, the TripAdvisor of the cruise liner industry, named Cobh in its top five, as voted by cruise line passengers from all over the world, alongside the more established destinations of Lisbon and Amsterdam. The others were St Peter Port, Guernsey, and Greenock in Scotland.

Cobh Tourism chairman Mark Ryan said a lot of work went in locally to make cruise liner passengers feel really welcome.

“Going the extra mile to welcome all cultures saw Cobh Tourism achieve a Chinese Tourist Welcome accreditation earlier this year,” he said.

Cobh & Harbour Chamber provide a year round tourist centre in a new, state-of-the-art office in the Arch Building at Casement Square.

“When big liners come in we organise food stalls and craft fairs. Cobh Confraternity Band always plays a farewell when ships depart. We celebrate Australia Day when the Sea Princess arrives here on a round-the-world cruise out of Sydney and it’s always a great success,” Mark said.

Cobh Tourism Ambassadors greet visitors and show them places of interest.

Tourists also mingle with members of the Cobh Animation team, who dress up in Victorian period costume and provide them with information on the town’s links with the ill-fated liners Titanic and Lusitania.

Adam Coulter, managing editor of Cruise Critic, which organised the awards said: “Analysing first-hand visitor feedback of cruise destinations world-wide enables us to identify those they loved most, which is true testament to their appeal.

“By sharing this insight, we hope to inspire and guide travellers to select a cruise itinerary, which they too, will love.”

Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland has welcomed a 4.2% growth in overseas visitors for January to June this year. June was the best ever month for Irish tourism, with almost 1m arrivals, up 8% on previous best figures.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbon said a 21.6% increase in visitors from North America was particularly welcome. Arrivals from Mainland Europe grew by almost 6%, with important markets like Germany, France, and Spain continuing to perform well.

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