Taskforce maps out route to tourism growth in Cork

A tourism taskforce hopes to launch a unified marketing strategy promoting the Cork region abroad later this year.

The Cork Strategic Tourism Taskforce was expecting to receive the results of initial promotion tests targeting key foreign markets yesterday.

The feedback will be analysed over the coming weeks before the strategy is refined ahead of an expected September launch.

Chaired by businessman Ger O’Mahony, the taskforce is bringing together the main stakeholders in the city and county to present a united marketing front for the entire region.

Deirdre Cole, a project officer with Fáilte Ireland, said the work is designed to identify Cork’s unique selling points, what the region is famous for, and what it can be known for internationally.

“We are working to identify the motivations of the people who are travelling here, rather than why we think they are travelling here,” said Ms Cole.

“We are asking them why they travel to Cork and why it stands out to them.

“We have developed a series of propositions, or short stories about Cork, and we have been testing how the international market reacts to these.

“We will then refine those propositions and will be targeting the ‘culturally curious’ sector — a demographic we identified a few years ago.”

It is understood the strategy will include the region’s food culture, its scenic coastline, and its position as a gateway to both the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East tourist routes.

The news emerged as key tourism figures attended the CityJet route announcement in Cork Airport yesterday.

Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer urged tourism chiefs to fast-track their work.

“We have a great product and this new flight linking Cork Airport and London City Airport shows the potential that the region has,” said Mr Buttimer. “To realise this potential, we need Fáilte Ireland and the city and county councils to fast-track their plans for developing a new marketing strategy for Cork.”

Tourism Ireland figures show that the southwest attracts 28% of the tourists visiting Ireland.

Its CEO, Niall Gibbons, said CityJet’s new flights will help boost both leisure and business travel from Britain to the region.

“Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that tourism growth continues,” he said.


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