On March the 6th Cork Tourism providers are coming together in Cork City Hall to showcase what is on offer in the rebel county in 2010 and put an end to the myth that there is nothing to do in Cork.
RE-DISCOVER CORK is aimed at letting people in Cork know what is available to them on their doorstep. It will be a family fun afternoon from 12pm - 4pm in the millennium hall at Cork City hall with face painting, African drumming, train rides, food samples and competitions throughout the afternoon.
The RE-DISCOVER Cork idea was developed by a group of individuals including Stephen Ryan from Fota Wildlife Park, Tom Fannon from Fota House, Mervyn Horgan from the Lifetime Lab and Kim McNamara from the West Cork Railway Village who participated in the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Learning Network program in 2009. Stephen Ryan from Fota Wildlife Park believes that this event is something for Cork people to be proud of, "our goal was to have a showcase event that was geared to the general public - to perhaps remind them of places they haven't been to for years, or give them ideas for places to go with their family or friends".
Cork is home to two of Ireland's top ten visitor attractions in Fota Wildlife Park and Blarney Castle and the historic St Finbarr's Cathedral and English Market which both lie in the heart of the city. "We believe that this year is a great time to launch a showcase event like this as Cork has recently been named one of the top 10 cities in the world by the lonely planet" added Mr Ryan.
Although the main goal of the event is to create awareness of what is on in the area it also aims to create more jobs in the city and county as Cork people both visit local tourism providers more and also become ambassadors for their city and county thus increasing tourism numbers in the area. While employment in the sector is believed to have fallen by about 5% in 2009, tourism directly employed 160,000 people in Ireland last year and contributed €1.3 billion to the exchequer.
The RE-DISCOVER CORK event will have over 50 accommodation providers, tourist attractions, restaurants and festivals stretching from Bere Island to Youghal. Some of the providers on the day will include Fota House, Lifetime Lab, Perks Funfair, Ballymaloe and Cork Racecourse Mallow.
The event will be free to the public and will have something for everyone on the day and for those who may be shopping around the city there will be a train from the West Cork Railway Village on hand to bring you from the Grand Parade to City Hall. Mr Ryan hopes this is the start of an annual event in the city and gives tourism providers of all shapes and sizes a chance to tell people what they have to offer, "we are hoping that at the end of the event people will be saying there is plenty to do in Cork"