Pictured at the launch were: Barry Holland, Communications Manager, Cork Airport; the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan and Sharon Corcoran, Director of Services, Economic Development, Enterprise & Tourism, Cork County Council. Photo: Brian Lougheed

Airport and County Council aim to encourage tourism

Geraldine Fitzgerald

Cork County Council has launched a new advertising campaign targeting inbound visitors to Cork Airport to help regenerate the tourism economy post-pandemic.

The easing of restrictions has seen increasing numbers of people travelling who welcome guidance on local features and activities. Central to the advertising campaign is the Explore Cork app, featuring over 850 things to see and do in the city and county.

Launched in May 2021 by Cork County Council, the app is the first of its kind developed by any local authority in Ireland. It’s easy-to-navigate interface features an array of visitor attractions, activities, family fun, arts, culture and beaches.

As well as directing users to the ever-growing number of tourism activities, the app is also linked to the Pure Cork website with its substantial database of dining and accommodation options in Cork.

Speaking at the campaign launch in Cork Airport, Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Gillian Coughlan said: “Now that we can welcome international visitors again, we want to enable them to make the most of their time in our fantastic county and engage with the incredible range of tourism activities available to discover at the touch of a button.”

Designed to solidify Cork’s position as a leading tourist destination, the campaign will highlight Cork’s hidden gems to the thousands of visitors that will pass through Cork Airport over the coming months.

Explore Cork spotlights each of the 23 main towns in Cork county, presenting local information and video footage that details the many spectacular tourism assets associated with each, in order to maximise visitor footfall and to benefit the local economy.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey credited the tourism sector on its remarkable resilience and adaptability over the last two years and explained that the council has worked on a suite of measures to support the recovery of our towns and villages since the onset of the pandemic.

At this crucial time of increased travel, he said: “The campaign will encourage international visitors to use the Explore Cork app to enrich their visit and extend their stay in Cork county.”

The anticipated numbers for post-pandemic tourism look promising. Managing Director of Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy, said: “This year, we anticipate welcoming over two million passengers at Cork Airport, which will be almost eight times the passenger traffic level of 2021.”

“Arriving at Cork Airport is the first stage of the Irish holiday for international visitors”, he continued, “and with the Explore Cork app, tourists will be able to discover the great variety of what Cork city and county has to offer. This is very welcome news for all the hotels, pubs and restaurants throughout Cork who have had two incredibly challenging years and who will no doubt roll out the red carpet and offer a Pure Cork welcome to these international tourists.”