Tourism Ireland is to be asked to explain why a paid half-page advertorial on the Wild Atlantic Way in a British newspapers made no mention of West Cork.
The advertorial in the Daily Telegraph focused primarily on attracting visitors to Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route and the Wild Atlantic Way in the south.
The article, which accompanied a map, featured almost double the amount of information on the Causeway Coastal Route than on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The only location in West Cork pinpointed on a map was the Mizen Head, but there was no reference in the printed article to the landmark or any other attractions in the coastal region.
However, Kinsale, referred to in the article as a Celtic Sea harbour port, received three mentions.
Clonakilty-based Fianna Fáil councillor Christopher O’Sullivan said that he was left “fuming” by the advertorial.
He claimed Tourism Ireland is “consistently omitting West Cork from their editorials and advertising campaigns”.
“Efforts are clearly been made to push other areas, but West Cork just isn’t on their radar,” he said.
“Anyone who lives in West Cork knows what an incredible place it is. We have the longest and most spectacular coastline in Ireland.
“We are quickly becoming a centre of excellence in artisan food production and we lead the way when it comes to cultural and musical events, yet none of this seems to register with Tourism Ireland.”
Mr O’Sullivan said his “frustration reached tipping point” on reading an editorial which contained no reference to West Cork, whatsoever.
“While West Cork residents and regular visitors to West Cork know of its incredible beauty the rest of Ireland, Europe and the world are largely unaware.
“Tourism Ireland is the body charged with its promotion and, in my opinion, they have come up short when it comes to this region.”
Mr O’Sullivan said he was delighted to see Kinsale had been mentioned and did not begrudge any other areas benefitting, but said it was not a level playing field when the whole of West Cork was ignored.
“I am asking serious questions of our national tourism development authority and I am asking serious questions of their dedication to West Cork,” he said.
Tourism Ireland recently embarked on a new “Embrace the Wild Atlantic way of Life” advertising campaign and Mr O’Sullivan feels that too was focused towards other counties on the western seaboard.
“Although that campaign contains very brief glimpses of Dursey Island and Mizen Head, there are multiple references to Kerry and the Skelligs, Loop Head in Clare, and also Galway,” he said. “In fact, I have yet to set eyes on a Wild Atlantic Way billboard that refers specifically to West Cork. I am pleading with Tourism Ireland to rectify this.”
He also noted road signs on the N40 (South Ring Road in Cork) also directed people to Tralee, but with no reference to West Cork.
“A simple gesture from Tourism Ireland would be to commission a tourism sign on this busy road directing people towards West Cork,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
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