Growing Tourism in Cork’ – A Collective Strategy was launched this morning by the Cork Tourism Strategy Taskforce at Cork Airport. The tourism strategy outlines a targeted five year plan (2015-2020) for increasing domestic and international visitor numbers to 2.8 million with an associated increase in spend in the local economy of €865 million.
The taskforce is comprised of the Chief Executives of Cork City and County Councils, together with representatives from Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and a number of local stakeholders. The Cork Tourism Strategy Taskforce is independently chaired by Mr. Ger O’Mahoney.
The ambitious tourism strategy was developed following extensive research and several rounds of stakeholder engagement to help develop a compelling, authentic tourism proposition for Cork. Critically, the research findings are supported by an implementation framework with defined, measurable actions and deliverables clearly outlined to ensure that Cork can reach its tourism potential over the next five years and beyond. The strategy will be delivered through Visit Cork, a new leisure tourism organisation.
Speaking at the launch, the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Chris O’Leary said “I would like to acknowledge the hard work of all those involved in this process, and also the astute chairmanship of Mr. O’Mahoney. I particularly want to welcome the commitment of all stake-holders to this Joint Strategy which places Cork city in the unique position of being a Gateway to both the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East.”
The Chief Executive highlighted the potential benefits for the City economy in the Strategy’s objective to increase the visitor spend by close to €1 billion over the life of the strategy. “The potential economic divdends for the City are enormous, and represent an exciting opportunity” said Ms. Doherty.
At this morning’s launch at Cork Airport, Ger O’Mahoney, Chairman of the Cork Tourism Strategy Taskforce said, “the research we commissioned during the development of this strategy points to a unique opportunity for a specific visitor proposition for Cork. Cork is ideally situated at the gateway of Ireland’s key tourism propositions – Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, positively positioning Cork within the leisure tourism market nationally and internationally.
“Cork currently accounts for 17.5% of all overseas visitors who come to Ireland, and is second only to Dublin in terms of tourist bed nights. The visitor research tells us that there are further opportunities for Cork to grow its tourist potential by providing clarity and an awareness of what Cork is and what it has to offer. The research identified the need for a strong visitor proposition for Cork which would encapsulate Cork’s DNA, motivating visitors in key markets. This work will form a significant part of the implementation plan.
“A key objective of the strategy is to facilitate the growth of Cork’s share of visitors by 21.3%. I’m delighted to say that from the outset, this process has had significant public and private sector buy-in and there has been huge support for, and engagement in, the process by a range of stakeholders across the city and county. Today is just the beginning of a process to implement our ambitious five year plan and I have no doubt this collaboration will continue as the strategy is rolled out,” concluded Mr. O’Mahoney.
The Cork Tourism Strategy will be implemented through four separate plans, each with a lead partner, supported by key partners, responsible for successfully executing the priority actions to implement the plans. Visit Cork will be complementary to existing tourism organisations and work is already underway to establish this organisation. Visit Cork will be initially funded by Cork City Council, Cork County Council and daa (Dublin Airport Authority), with the subsequent involvement of other private sector and public sector partners, supported by Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.
The Strategy document can be viewed at the following link: