Wednesday, 25th March 2015
- Cork must be marketed as a single tourist destination.
- New national tourism policy, People Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025, can be the basis for new approach.
Cork must be marketed as a single destination and as the gateway to all Munster counties when it comes to attracting tourists. The new national tourism policy, People Place and Policy – Growing Tourism to 2025, which was launched this week, must be the basis marketing Cork as a single region.
The new policy provides for a central role for local authorities in marketing their region. This opportunity must be used to market Cork as a single region over the next decade. Recently there have been attempts to do this but very little has been achieved. Last year Cork INC was established but little has been heard from it. Fáilte Ireland has set up a group to put together a strategy to market Cork but it will be nine months before anything is heard about its plans. Clearly, marketing Cork as a single destination has not been treated with the urgency it deserves.
At the moment both Cork City and County Councils focus on marketing their own areas. This only leads to confusion as locals, let alone tourists, don’t realise where the boundary is between both Councils. Even the simple issue of one website for Cork hasn’t been addressed, Cork City Council uses the cork.ie and Cork County Council uses visitcountycork.com. This only adds to the confusion for anyone looking to visit Cork.
The urgency of a new approach to marketing Cork is clearly evident when the issue of the continuing decline in passenger numbers at Cork Airport is considered. If the difficulties at Cork Airport are to be addressed it requires a comprehensive marketing strategy to be in place for the entire Cork region and we must begin to sell Cork as the gateway to all southern counties. An urgent focus on marketing Cork as a single entity will help the airport and all businesses based across the county.
A new tourism policy provides the basis for a fresh approach when it comes to marketing Cork. But if this is going to be delivered then it needs to be led by Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland working with other stakeholders.