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Cobh Tourism

Cobh Tourism – 10 Years On



400x440Over the past decade Cobh has been transformed into a tourism destination packed full of things to see and do for the visitor and indeed the people of Cobh.

Many businesses, organisations and individuals have worked hard to bring Cobh to where it is today – a beautiful town, presented to a high standard with a friendly and welcoming vibe and a wealth of tourism businesses and attractions of world class standards.

One organisation that is working quietly and diligently in the background to promote Cobh and all that it has to offer is Cobh Tourism Ltd.

Mike Bardsley spoke with the current chairman of Cobh Tourism Ltd., Hendrick Verwey to find out a bit more about what the organisation does.

Cobh Tourism became an independent tourism body in 2004 and was set up under the auspices of Cobh and Harbour Chamber and Cobh Town Council to represent all stakeholders. Since then determined efforts have been made to market Cobh, to assist businesses and organisations in their tourism activities and to influence policy and planning decisions that affect tourism in Cobh. Like many voluntary bodies Cobh Tourism became a company in June 2010 with a voluntary board of directors. The board includes representatives from Cobh’s largest tourism businesses, marketing professionals as well as board members with a proven track record of community engagement and activity.

Telling prospective tourists about Cobh is the primary objective of Cobh Tourism and the dedicated website attracts over 33,000 visits each year. The Cobh Tourism Facebook presence promotes all that is happening in Cobh to locals, the Cobh diaspora worldwide and people who have visited Cobh. It is very actively updated and kept interesting. The Facebook page has just recently been launched and will make it easier for a worldwide audience to access information about Cobh.

In 2014, attending the Holiday World Show in Dublin, the Over 55’s show and using the Irish Open Golf at Fota to promote Cobh were all used to attract visitors and create awareness about Cobh.

In 2011, Cobh Tourism Ltd. initiated the highly successful Cobh Tourism Ambassador programme. At the time, this was just the 2nd programme of its type in Ireland and saw over 30 volunteers working a rota system on the streets of Cobh welcoming visitors and imparting local information from April right through to the end of September. It has since been replicated in many cities and towns throughout Ireland.

Generating publicity for Cobh is getting harder as radio stations and free newspapers chase advertising revenue. However when you hear or read about a cruise liner in Cobh, a historical event being commemorated or a musical or family event in Cobh then Cobh Tourism is the likely source!

The annual Titanic, Lusitania and Spike Island Flag raising commemorations are all organised by Cobh Tourism. Without annual events like these it would have been hard to justify the Titanic 100 centenary events in Cobh without attracting accusations of commercialising a tragedy. Cobh Tourism is again at the forefront of organising a fitting series of memorial events in Cobh in 2015 for the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania.

Events such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Dockyard Gathering, Australia Day in Cobh, Christmas in Cobh and the visit of the Bedizzole Marching Band for Cork Rebel Week are “co-productions” with See You in Cobh, Cobh Tidy Towns and other interested parties.

The Titanic Memorial Garden and the illumination of St. Colman’s Cathedral were only possible because of grants successfully secured from SECAD by Cobh Tourism Ltd.

Winning the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Towns Award would be a major achievement for the town of Cobh. Mystery shoppers will visit Cobh and other shortlisted towns like Killarney, Ennis and Westport any day now to see which towns are going the extra mile to welcome visitors. Having written the application that secured Cobh its top 15 shortlisting in 2014, Cobh Tourism is confident that Cobh can win this prestigious award, if not this year then certainly in the near future.

Cobh Tourism relies on its member’s subscriptions and the tremendous work of volunteers to continue organising events and to promote Cobh. The annual subscription is just €75 which represents terrific value for money. Every single business in Cobh is benefiting from tourism and should become a member to ensure that the work of the organisation can continue. Application forms to join are available by emailing

But for the efforts of the people behind Cobh Tourism the town would not be advancing as it has been over the last few years. Many of the voluntary board of directors are not directly involved in a tourism business and so receive no commercial reward for their efforts. The work of Cobh Tourism ensures that our town benefits with visitors spending time and money in our town which keeps it alive and means a positive future for us and our children.

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