Gathering of Cork’s Newest Tourism Brand in the home of
The World’s Fastest Growing Whiskey brand
Award-winning travel writer, editor, and author, Pól Ó Conghaile, was the keynote speaker at a unique gathering of tourism businesses from the Ring of Cork on Friday evening. Hosted by The Jameson Experience in Midleton, the event was a culmination of several local area meetings that have been taking place throughout the region recently.
Pól immediately dispelled the title of his presentation, “The 10 Truths in Travel”, by stating that there are, in fact, “ No truths in travel.” The audience was captivated by Pol’s insights into Irish tourism, speaking of the need for creativity, working together, providing good value and, above all, the importance of the people and the local experience.
Pol noted, “Tourism is an increasingly crowded and noisy space, and it’s harder than ever for businesses to cut through. To attract visitors, destinations need to pull together, to get creative and unified with their messages. That’s why it’s so encouraging to see Ring of Cork members pulling a new focus today. That they are meeting at the Jameson Experience, the heart of the world’s fastest growing whiskey brand, is very appropriate.”
He ended his presentation with a call to action that created quite a positive and enthusiastic response from the attendees. He invited the audience to network together and to send him ‘10 great reasons to visit East Cork’, which he would use as the basis of an online article and gallery on Independent.ie.
Pol later explained, “ This is a great exercise for people to come together and get motivated. I will decide the final 10, and I know that people will inevitable be disappointed if they are left out. However, it’s a good exercise, showing the power of destination marketing, and why it is worth working together rather than individually on a media piece.”
The Ring of Cork
Ring of Cork Chairman, Ryan Howard, also spoke at the event, “The Ring of Cork is a vibrant network of tourism related business who believe that by working together, they will grow together. Sharing information, referring business and embracing the challenges of worldwide competition will ensure a sustainable future for tourism in the region and create much-needed employment for future generations.”
Ignacio Peregrina, General Manager of the Jameson Experience at the Old Midleton Distillery, said afterward, “We were delighted to host this Regional Networking Tourism Event. It is great to see that members of SECAD and the Ring of Cork are pulling together in an organized and cohesive fashion. This event offers an opportunity for us to showcase everything that Cork and East Cork has to offer, from world-class accommodation and hospitality venues to heritage, cultural attractions and outdoor activities. There’s no doubt that the tourist industry has shown signs of strong economic recovery, with visitors numbers continuously increasing. It is very appropriate that tourist operators are meeting at the Jameson Experience, home to an iconic and world renowned Irish product.” Ignacio provided their specialty Jameson Cocktail for the networkers – a shot of Jameson whiskey, ginger ale plus a good squeeze of lime. They also served something a little different, titled ‘A Taste of Cork’ – it consisted of slaw marinated in Jameson, ginger and lime and local oak barrel smoked peppered mackerel served with Clonakilty black pudding soda bread.
MC at the event was the well-known Cork broadcaster and corporate entertainer, PJ Coogan. PJ ensured that the program for the evening ran smoothly. Included in the proceedings was a short speed networking session which proved to be a great success. Among those in present were the Directors of the Board of the Ring of Cork, Seamus Cunningham (Wallis’s Bar), Sal Tivy (Perks), Jack Walsh (The Cobh Heritage Centre) and JJ Harty. With over eighty in attendance, the turnout included Gillen Joyce (Titanic Experience), Wendy Whelan and Fern Allen (Ballymaloe), David and Gaye Fitzgibbon (Aherne’s), Stephen Belton (Bayview and Garryvoe Hotel’s), Deirdre Mannion (Trabolgan), Nick Ryan ( Walter Raleigh Hotel), Vincent Bartley (Fota House, Irish Heritage Trust), Stephen Ryan and Sean McKeown (Fota Wildlife Park) Breffne Costello (Castlemartyr Resort) Miro Jezovica (Quality Hotel Youghal) and Mark Golden (The Old Imperial Hotel).
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