COUNTY Hall has poured cold water on the idea of appointing a marine tourism officer.
Donegal County Council recently created such a position and Councillor Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) asked Cork County Council to consider creating a similar job.
“What I’m looking for is a first step toward marketing our coastline with a marine tourism officer as they have done in County Donegal,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“In my view, the coastline of Cork is the most attractive tourism attraction in the country. The names roll off the tongue when you think of Cobh, Youghal, Ballycotton, Crosshaven, Kinsale Courtmacsherry, Inchydoney beach, Glandore, Baltimore, Mizen Head, and Dursey Island.
“These are areas of beauty that constantly come up when we discuss these areas. It’s about packaging and marketing them along with the activities, such as surfing and whale watching. I think it would be prudent and a proactive step to appoint a marine tourism officer,” he added.
Paul Hayes (SF) said: “We have the largest coastline in the country and we’ve been looking at creating a marine section. It would tie in loose ends that are fantastic from a tourism point of view but if we could bring everything in under the one umbrella it would be fantastic.”
However, county chief executive Tim Lucey said appointing a marine tourism officer may actually detract from other sectors of tourism within Cork.
“It’s a matter I will take away and consider but we have a tourism department across a whole range of sections. Sometimes when you create a specialisation you can diffuse the level of cooperation that exists. You could argue that if we have a marine tourism officer, there should be an agri-tourism officer, an eco-tourism officer or a culture tourism officer.
“At this point in time I am satisfied we have a structure to respond to a whole range of things that are on offer out there,” he added.