Tourism Ireland discusses 2013 season with local tourism operators
Senior managers of Tourism Ireland were in Cork today – meeting with some of the key players working in the tourism industry in Cork city and county. They discussed the 2013 season to date and the extensive promotional programme which Tourism Ireland has in place to highlight Cork and the island of Ireland around the world this year.
Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland’s director of markets, said: “We are delighted to be in Cork again today, to have the chance to meet with representatives of the tourism industry and to hear directly how their businesses are doing this year. Our meetings will also afford us the opportunity to discuss the extensive promotional programme which Tourism Ireland is undertaking this year across the globe. We have a major focus on The Gathering, which is a fantastic ‘hook’ for us to highlight Ireland. We are extending an invitation to the millions of people everywhere who have ancestral links with Ireland to ‘come home’ this year; our message is that there has never been a better year to visit.”
Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity to highlight Cork around the world this year includes:
• Cork ‘Gatherings’
The Gathering Ireland has been a major focus of Tourism Ireland promotions around the world for the past 18 months. So far this year, 417 Cork ‘Gatherings’ have been confirmed. Tourism Ireland has been working hard to raise awareness of key Cork Gatherings – including last week’s Redhead Convention in Crosshaven and Cork Rebel Week, which takes place in October – through social media and e-marketing campaigns.
• Co-operative promotional campaigns to boost travel to Cork Gateways
Cork Airport and the Port of Cork are important gateways to this region. Tourism Ireland has been working hard throughout 2013, and for many years, to drive demand for air and sea services to Cork, through co-operative marketing campaigns in conjunction with the airport and ferry port, major airlines and ferry companies, and other partners. Examples include:
- ad campaigns have been undertaken in co-operation with Aer Lingus around Mainland Europe this year, including in France (to highlight the Paris-Cork route), Germany (to highlight the Munich-Cork flight), Belgium and the Netherlands;
- an advertising campaign in Great Britain is under way right now (May until October), in conjunction with Jet2 – to promote attractive fares from Newcastle to Cork; the campaign includes outdoor, regional press and radio, as well as online advertising;
- also in GB, Tourism Ireland co-operated with Aer Lingus Regional this summer, to promote the Manchester to Cork service; activity included press, radio and outdoor advertising;
- in France, Tourism Ireland works closely with Brittany Ferries, encouraging car touring holidays and travel to Cork from Roscoff;
- and Tourism Ireland partners with Ryanair in GB to promote direct flights to GB; and in Italy to highlight great fares and ease of access to Cork from Milan and Pisa.
• Starring role for Cobh and Cork in Tourism Ireland’s new online food film
Tourism Ireland recently launched the first in a series of new online films – set to entice ‘foodies’ from around the globe. Showcasing some of the wonderful food gems to be found around the island of Ireland, the films demonstrate the passion of our chefs and food producers for sourcing, using and promoting local Irish produce. The first film begins in Belvelly Smokehouse in Cobh – featuring artisan producer Frank Hederman, who represents just one of the many traditional smokehouse producers around the island of Ireland. He takes the viewer on a journey around his native Cobh and gives a real insight into the age-old smoking techniques used to produce his delicious smoked salmon. He speaks about Ireland’s ‘wonderful raw material’ with ‘our landscape at the heart of what we create’ and even passes on his tips about the best way to hold a salmon! Cork’s English Market also features, as does the South County bar in Douglas.
• Influential international travel writers visit Cork
Tourism Ireland has invited a number of influential travel and lifestyle journalists to visit Cork this year – so they will encourage prospective holidaymakers to come here, through their articles, broadcasts or blogs. A recent example includes the visit of Mr FAN Yibo, China’s number one travel blogger (also known as ‘Map of Seven Colours’ on Sina Weibo – a major Chinese social networking site), who was in Cork earlier this month and visited places like Blarney Castle and Cork city.
Earlier this year, the renowned Travel Classics writers’ conference took place at Ballymaloe House in Shanagarry. Forty-three of the top American travel writers travelled here, to take part in this year’s conference – including editors from a wide range of high profile publications like Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Harper’s Bazaar, AFAR, Saveur and Coastal Living, all of which reach hundreds of thousands of readers across North America, as well as globally.
And in July, a group of journalists from six different countries – including Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Sweden – visited West Cork; they represented a radio station and a variety of online and print publications, with a combined audience of over 3.1 million people – or potential holidaymakers.
• Cork tourism enterprises join Tourism Ireland at trade fairs and promotions around the world
A number of Cork tourism enterprises have joined Tourism Ireland during 2013, promoting the city and its hinterland at various consumer and travel trade fairs, and as part of travel trade missions, around the world. These have included representatives of Cork Convention Bureau (at business tourism promotions like IMEX in Frankfurt and AIBTM in Chicago); the River Lee Hotel (at Tourism Ireland’s ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitz in Canada); Cork Airport (at ITB in Berlin); and Actons Hotel in Kinsale and the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery (at the ‘Best of Britain and Ireland’ in Birmingham).
• Leading international tour operators visit Cork
Tourism Ireland has also invited some of the leading travel agents and tour operators from around the world to visit Cork this year – to ensure that this part of Ireland features in their programmes and brochures and that they will sell the destination with as much enthusiasm as possible. The programme has included a visit earlier this month by five of India’s top tour operators – including representatives of TUI India and 7th Heaven Holidays.
Also, to mark their 50th year selling holidays to the island of Ireland, the sales staff of leading Dutch tour operator, BBI Travel, flew to Cork at the end of May, to take part in their very own ‘Gathering’. The group – whose visit was supported by Tourism Ireland – had a packed programme which took in West Cork (including Bantry and Glengarriff) and Kinsale.