Cork Convention Bureau (CCB) has been working with Kuoni on an impressive itinerary for next year. A group of 12 visited Cork on September 17th and 18th last on a fact finding mission. CCB ensured they experienced the best of the region including a visit to the coastal town of Kinsale, the Queenstown Heritage Centre in Cobh, Fota House and even a night at the dog races! As a result of this site inspection a programme has been devised. A gala dinner in the grounds of Castlemartyr Resort Hotel with the backdrop of the castle ruins has been proposed followed by a day of excursions including the Jameson Distillery in the town of Midleton and the obligatory kissing of the Blarney Stone. Two hours of free time in Cork's city centre will allow the group to browse the chic boutiques and have lunch at many of Cork's great restaurants tasting local artisan produce.
'This business will be worth an estimated €500,000 to the Cork region. Since its inception in 2007, CCB has been responsible for more than €20 million worth of conference, meeting and incentive business in Cork. Cork is at its peak right now and international event organisers looking for new destinations are very impressed with the product offering.' Evelyn O'Sullivan, Business Tourism Manager CCB. (Cork Convention Bureau is an initiative of Cork City and County Councils, Failte Ireland and is also supported by the regions hotels.)
Commenting on the delegate visit to Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy Port of Cork said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for Cork to leave a very positive welcoming experience for the 900 visitors. It is very encouraging to see commercial companies using the cruise liner business as a method of visiting the region. Statistics available from the cruise lines indicate that 30% of cruise passengers make a return visit to a region they visited on their cruise itinerary. This would be excellent for Cork if some or all of these delegates return in the future with their family or friends or indeed looked at future business opportunities." In order to ensure that their visit is memorable, the Port of Cork will coordinate a special welcome with the Tour Operator, Cobh Tourism, Town Council and Chamber, Irish Rail and Cork City TEAM.
He continued: "The Port of Cork has been involved for the last 3 years with Spanish, French and Portuguese Ports in developing the European Atlantic Area as a premier cruise destination. This work under an EU Initiative "Cruise Atlantic Europe" is aimed at developing the historic links between these countries and the Latin nations in South America, particularly Brazil to encourage them to visit this region. The Independence of the Seas is due to berth in the Port of Cork between the 6th-7th May 2012 with over 5,000 passengers and crew.