The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port Company recently joined forces to promote marine leisure tourism.
The three organisations attended Southampton Boat Show from 15-24th September 2017 tasked with promoting cruising to Cool Route marinas.
Equipped with the recently published Cool Route Marketing Brochure, they targeted the luxury cruisers/motor yacht market, cruising yachts and those boats that may choose to use County Cork ports at southern end of the Cool Route, as a location from which to start their cruise.
The Southampton Boat Show is an on-water boat show, one of the largest in Europe and the biggest of its type in the UK. This year the Cork trio chose to exhibit on the Irish Marina Operators Association stand on Yacht Harbour Association stand.
This year’s show saw a strong attendance, record numbers of visitors on the water and incredible sales reports, further strengthening its position as one of the top Boat Shows in the world. The show welcomed more than 106,000 visitors, to celebrate the fun, lifestyle and excitement that being out on the water has to offer.
With brand new attractions for 2017, close to 15,000 people got out on the water at the Show, an increase of 50% on previous years, with many experiencing boating for the first time. Set against the stunning backdrop of hundreds of boats lined up along Europe’s largest purpose-built marina, visitors were able to hop on and off a stunning array of vessels of all sizes.
Mark Ring, CMM, Marina & Racing Manager at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, noting the already high levels of awareness of the Cool Route, at the Show, commented: ‘The Royal Cork Yacht Club was delighted to work together with both the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port Company in promoting both the Cork coast and the Cool Route. This year was an extremely successful event with great interest in our coastline, there was a lot of potential visitors from boat owners with 35 – 50 ft cruising yachts, to cruise companies looking for new routes away from traditional cruising waters such as the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas. The Cool Route project really seems to have captured the imagination”
Cork Harbour offers significant potential for further development of the marine recreation sector as an important source of enjoyment and economic gain for the local residents and visitors and it is anticipated that attending Southampton Boat Show will help to promote the marine facilities directly to the desired market.
Future marketing strategy for the Cool Route recommends that more ports and coastlines undertake combined marketing at major international boat shows.