Businessman takes Tourism Roadshow to UK

Businessman takes Tourism Roadshow to UK

10 March 2010

The introduction of the new Swansea to Cork Ferry by Fastnet Lines next week, heralds an exciting time for the hospitality industry and for business in general in Cork City and County and with 2 out of every 3 bookings coming from the UK it is clear that this market has phenomenal potential for the region, which needs to be nurtured and developed. 

One Cork business man, whose family is steeped in the hospitality and travel sector, Derry Cronin has decided to take decisive action and bring new business to Cork via the new route. 

He has organised a specially branded “Come to Cork Bus” to tour the UK promoting the new route and using the facilities on the bus to showcase all that Cork has to offer the UK visitor.Derry is a director of Select Hotels of Ireland (a group of 23 independently owned Irish Hotels) and a director of Specialized Travel Services, (a Tour Operator Destination Management Company, working exclusively on in-coming visitors to Ireland). 

Derry’s philosophy is simple “to get business, you have to go out and look for it, which is what I am doing.”Derry decided to brand the bus with a very simple “Come to Cork” message by using the Swansea to Cork Ferry Route Branding and on the back, a traffic stopping image of Ireland, which almost jumps out at on-lookers.  It features a graphic where Cork and the facilities that Cork has to offer feature very prominently.  “It will definitely grab people’s attention and I hope it will encourage many people in the UK who see this eye-catching bus pass by, to consider Cork via the new Swansea to Cork Route, as the perfect holiday destination this year.

”The bus interior is a mini exhibition centre for Cork City and County, with meeting room and multimedia display panels, which will showcase the wealth of facilities, attractions and events that Cork has to offer. 

Derry has already arranged  meetings with various UK Tour Operators and other interested organisations and is looking forward to returning home with many new bookings, which will mean increased visitors to Cork in the 2010 season and beyond – all good news for the hospitality sector and Cork business in general.A veteran at promoting Cork and Ireland abroad, Derry spent 12 years in the USA where he worked for the family business in their New York office. 

Since returning he has worked alongside his father Dermot Cronin, developing new in-coming business to Cork and to Ireland.  Derry added “The whole tradition of tourism in Cork has changed dramatically since I returned from the States, with positive initiatives like the European City of Culture and the more recent accolade by the Lonely Planet, voting Cork one of the top places to visit in the world. Cork is now viewed as a very viable holiday destination. 

Being from Cork, I am so passionate about encouraging people to holiday in Cork and am so looking forward to getting on the road and seeing people’s reaction to the bus.”The unveiling of the new bus took place outside Cork County Hall, chosen by Derry, as he very much sees Cork County Council’s proactive approach to business and tourism being a key factor which has helped not only his business but many other businesses throughout the county. 

Derry stated   “I have seen firsthand the benefits to the County of a number of the business & trade initiatives that Cork County Council have spearheaded with very measurable results.”

Present at the unveiling of the “Come to Cork Bus” was Cork County Manager Martin Riordan, who stated, “Derry and his family are prime examples of the ethos of entrepreneurship and positivity that exists amongst so many of our successful Cork business people.  We are delighted to play our part with nurturing this entrepreneurial environment. 

Over the past 10 years Cork County Council has developed a strong partnership with Swansea City and County Council.  For example, at the recent and very successful CORKMEET event Swansea had the largest international delegation and used the occasion to forge new ties with many Cork based businesses interested in developing trade in the UK. 

He added “The Swansea to Cork Route by Fastnet Lines will help to cement these ties even more and it is so encouraging to see a dynamic Cork businessman seizing the golden opportunities on the very first sailing.”