|City invests €200,000 in Cork Swansea|
|Written by Eoin Weldon|
|Thursday, 28 January 2010|
With less than five weeks to go until the maiden voyage of the MV Julia from Cork to Swansea, the City Council has agreed to invest €200,000 in the project. The re-introduction of the service from 1 March is expected to generate as much as €50 million for the Cork/Kerry region. The significance of the venture to Cork was highlighted last week when CEO of West Cork Tourism Conor Buckley was voted Cork Person of the Year for his work in re-establishing the service.
Announcing the investment, Cork City manager Joe Gavin said: "The importance of the ferry service was clearly acknowledged by the local authorities in the region who stepped in some years back and provided the service directly themselves when the private sector withdrew from the scene. The initiative is greatly welcomed and it will be very important for the tourism industry here."
The €200,000 will be given by way of the city council investing in bonds which the Swansea ferry Co-Op is issuing. The money invested will be repayable after four years and will gain 10 per cent interest.
City Councillors welcomed the news at last Monday night's City Council meeting. Fianna Fáil Cllr Terry Shannon said it was a welcome move but the city needs to capitalise on the potential. "People power and local power got the ferry back up and running. Thanks to the efforts of Conor Buckley the historic link has been restored. They have been inundated with bookings for the summer but the problem will be sustaining this all year round. We as a city must do all we can to retain the tourists in the city. We need self-promotion in Cork."
Fine Gael Cllr Brian Bermingham said the city should take advantage of the twinning arrangement in place with Swansea. "We need to develop something that is valuable for both ourselves and Swansea. We need to see more Brits in Cork, they have not been around for a while and we must give them a true welcome when they come," he said. Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy said a few simple things could be done to promote the city more to people coming off the ferry in Ringaskiddy. "We need better signage to attract people as they come off the ferry. There is no sign to Cork City when you come leave Ringaskiddy, we should also have literature on the ferry promoting Cork," he said.
Labour Party Cllr John Kelleher warned that the re-establishment of the ferry service will present a lot of challenges for the ferry authorities. "This will be a very serious challenge," he said. "There will be vicious competition from Rosslare. When the ferry was there before, the vast majority of people when to West Cork and Kerry, we need to get them to stay in the city." Fianna Fáil's Tim Brosnan said Cork has a unique product to offer. "British people are very organised, unlike us.We need to put a package together beforehand to offer people," he said. His party colleague Sean Martin said there should be people on the ground in Swansea to promote Cork. "We gave a lot of money to Cork/Kerry tourism over the years and we seem to have got very little back. When tourists use the ferry we must find a way to hold them in the city for a few nights here." City Manager Joe Gavin said Cork has a great package to offer and it has been recognised as a great city to visit. "The Lonely Planet recommendation did not happen by accident. Most people would give their right arm to get a lonely planet accreditation. There is a very attractive urban centre and surroundings to offer," he said.
Swansea - Cork ferry service.
written by Clive Sedgebeer, February 04, 2010
I wish the new ferry company every good wish for the future, and congratulate them in their achievements
It will save 400 miles for the average user per visir. I used the old fery a few times and the ship was getting very tired.
I am sure that if promoted properly tourism in the Cork & Kerry regions will benefit greatly.
About 18 plus years ago I launched the first rugby flights to Shannon for the 6 nations rugby matches because i felt the hotel operators in Dublin were getting far too greedy.
The benefits of these flights were felt initially in Ennis and Limerick but now the programmes have been expanded and for a number of years Cork, Killarney and Galway have had mini invasions.
Most of these visitors gave very positive responses regarding the West coast experience and the welcome in their words was warmer than that of Dublin.
These visitors (mainly male) returned and told their partners about the experience and i am sure that these people if they are targeted properly would use the new service and stay on the west coast.
p.s I should mention that the initial idea of the west coast rugby trips was mine and a Denis Galvin who lives in Macroom who has been a fine ambassador for your area.
Regards and good luck
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