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Sustainable Development

Fáilte Ireland
Tourism Update

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Sustainable Development
Fáilte Ireland announces plan to transform visitor experience in Cork Harbour
Developed in partnership with Cork City and County Councils and Port of Cork
 Fri 23rd February 2024

Pictured: Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council; Paul O’Regan Harbour Master and COO, Port of Cork; Brian O’Flynn, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East; Andrew Hayley, Director, The Paul Hogarth Company and Valerie O’ Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cork County Council.

This week, Fáilte Ireland, in partnership with Cork County Council, Cork City Council and Port of Cork announced their plans to develop a Cork Harbour Tourism Plan, which will enhance the visitor experience and unlock the tourism potential of Cork Harbour.

This visionary plan, which will be a key element of Fáilte Ireland’s 5-year Destination and Experience Development Plan (DEDP) for Cork City, Harbour and East Cork, aims to position Cork Harbour as a world-class tourism destination and support the sustainable development of this area into a must-visit destination.

The plan will identify opportunities to enhance Cork’s tourism offering and create a focal point for Cork’s maritime story, seeking to improve accessibility, capacity, interpretation, visitor facilities, visitor flow as well as visitor experiences. It will also include a high-level review of visitor orientation in the Cork Harbour area with recommendations to improve transport, look at sustainable transport initiatives and encourage a greater spread of visitors throughout the area.

This plan outlines a significant sustainable tourism development opportunity for Cork Harbour, which is the largest natural harbour in the Northern Hemisphere but is currently underutilised from a leisure tourism perspective. There is an opportunity to increase visitor numbers to the Cork Harbour area by building on the uniqueness offered by the Cork Harbour islands, which are supported by great on-water experiences linking the harbour islands and harbour communities.

Developing on the existing greenways, blueways and transport links will increase the accessibility of Cork Harbour and its communities to Cork City, and enabling improved land and sea linkages between the City and Harbour will create something that is unique on the island of Ireland.

Speaking at the announcement Brian O’ Flynn, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland said “The Cork Harbour Tourism Plan aims to unlock Cork Harbour’s huge potential in attracting both domestic and international visitors to the region. The plan will be key in enhancing the unique tourism offering in Cork harbour to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more which will bring significant benefits for the local economy and community and the wider region. Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Cork City and County Councils, and the Port of Cork, aims to develop and deliver this ambitious plan to position Cork Harbour as a must-visit destination within Ireland’s Ancient East.”

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