Efforts by the cruise liner sector to minimise its environmental impact is seeing the industry continuing to grow and among the beneficiaries is the Port of Cork which this year will see cruise visitor numbers almost top the 250,000 mark.
According to Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Keating, 2019 has proven a record cruise season for the port with over 243,000 passengers and crew including many first time visitors coming aboard 100 cruise liners to visit Cork.
“We are hugely proud of the increase in cruise tourism and growing our business to 100 calls has surpassed our expectations,” said Mr Keating, noting that the success stemmed from a collaborative approach by local agencies.
“To successfully promote Cork as a sustainable cruise destination, it takes commitment from local tourism bodies and businesses and both Cork City and County Councils to work together to enhance the reputation of Cork globally.”
Mr Keating pointed out that cruise ship passengers calling to Cobh, Ringaskiddy and the city quays spend on average some €81 during their visit while crew spend approximately €29 when ashore in Cork.
“Improving and exciting the passengers shore experience will encourage a return visit to the region, increasing tourism and boosting the local economy,” he said.
Mr Keating pointed out that in 2019 Cobh was recognized as one of the best cruise destinations in the world, winning in the Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Cruise Destination category.
In addition to Cobh, the Port of Cork also operates Bantry Bay Port Company, which saw 10 cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer as part of a cruise strategy to grow the business in the area.
Published IrishTimes, 12 November 2019