THE need for all businesses in the Beara Peninsula to work together to market the area has been highlighted by 14 German students.
A key deficiency, according to their study, is the difficulty of digging up sufficient information about the Kenmare/Beara region on internet and tourist guide books.
This is in sharp contrast to the amount of information widely available about the neighbouring Ring of Kerry, for example, it stresses.
One of the more startling findings was that even when people contacted tourist information offices seeking data on the region, they failed to get the required detail. One response indicated Beara was difficult to get around without a car, but the scenery was nice.
The students are all in their final term in the Department of Tourism at the Munich University of Applied Science and visited Ireland on numerous occasions to complete the study under Prof Antoine Bauer and Prof Sonja Munz.
The study highlighted the need for the area to have an up-to-date website in order to maximise the numbers of visitors to the area.
Upwards of 50% of people going on holiday use the internet as their primary destination research tool while almost 60% use the it to book holidays, studies show.
Main positive elements identified in the Beara study was the uncrowded nature of the area, scenery and cleanliness of the region.
Negative aspects included poor public transport, the lack of proper signage, the lack of facilities at some attractions and the difficulty for people who did not speak English well.
People thought the price of eating out relatively high, compared with Munich. Joint admission tickets for some attractions would add greatly to the attractiveness of facilities.
Welcoming its launch, Castletownbere Community Development Group chairman Donal Kelly said it highlighted the significant areas which needed to be worked on. He strongly urged local groups to act on its recommendations.
The Castletownbere group is to print an A3 sized map featuring the main attractions of the Peninsula, providing information on the towns and villages of the area.
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