Major new tourism initiative for Beara Peninsula

Posted on: 9th March, 2015

Category: Headlines

Contributor: West Cork People

Promotion Beara is the new title of the original Kenmare Beara Tourism Cluster that was established in 2010, under the Collabor8 Programme.  The group is based in the greater Beara region traversing counties Cork and Kerry and the gateway towns of Kenmare and Glengarriff. Its remit is to build Beara as a tourism destination, to work collectively to market the region and in doing so strengthen the sustainability of businesses and communities. It is working closely with the Three Heads Tourism Project, which represents the Beara, Sheeps Head and Mizen peninsulas to brand the three peninsulas as one unique tourism destination.

Promotion Beara is made up of local individuals, businesses, tourism, marketing and community groups from Allihies, Adrigole, Ardgroom, Bonane, Bere Island, Castletownbere, Eyeries, Glengarriff, Kenmare, Tousist / Lauragh and A Grand Day Out.

When the Kenmare Beara Tourism Cluster was initated back in 2010, its aim was to encourage diverse local groups to work together on developing and marketing their region and its unique selling points.

This original cluster initiative was active for quite a while and took the opportunity to produce and distribute a very successful A3 tear-off map of the peninsula.

In January 2013, a public meeting was held to revive the cluster’s tourism marketing activities and link in with county tourism supports. From this meeting, it was decided to set-up a project team to update and reprint the map. With the assistance of the Rural Alliance Programme through South Kerry Development Partnership, 150,000 maps were distributed for the 2014 season.

A public meeting was then held on the November 26, 2013 in Kenmare. Over 80 individuals, local businesses, tourism group members, community and development group members, etc. were invited.  Attendance was low and dominated by the easterly end of the peninsula: Glengarriff, Bonane, Tousist and Kenmare. However, the organsiers got in touch with community leaders from the western end of the peninsula (Castletownbere, Allihies and Eyeries) who gave their full support. Whilst not able to attend that first meeting, they made it clear that they would be very interested in taking part at the next meeting. Therefore, as the programme was rolled out, workshops were held across the peninsula.

Interest was expressed by attendees to implement the Cluster Animation Programme and branding/logo for Beara was identified as one of the priorities. Another was a comprehensive website, which would act as an umbrella site for all tourism providers and businesses on the Peninsula. It was decided to keep these workshops very practical with the emphasis on project(s) for the 2015 tourism season. Feedback suggested that people were tired of programmes and would only participate if they believed tangible and immediate results would be delivered for their businesses and region.

The development of a brand / logo presented an exciting and untapped opportunity for the group in building and promoting the Beara region as a unique destination. Ultimately, it is about identity and being able to compete on a National and International stage with successful areas such as the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula and Loop Head without compromising the existing way of life of Beara

The officers for year one, Tara Hanley, Paul Harris, Tadhg O’Sullivan, Owen Johnston, Raymond Ross and Chris Harrington, together with all the area representatives, are now inviting all individuals and businesses from Glengarriff to Dursey Island to Kenmare to join them in building up this amazing area and new brand.  For further details / information please contact promotionbeara@gmail.com.

Pictured Above: Members of the new Promotion Beara group whose remit is to build Beara as a tourism destination by working collectively to market the region and in doing so strengthen the sustainability of businesses and communities.  L-R Clockwise: Paul Harris, Darren Lynch, Raymond Ross, Colman O’Sullivan, Barry Hanley, Tadhg O’Sullivan, Cecile Thevenet, Tara Hanley, Connie Torpey Downey and Jim Larner.   

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