Cork Clipper Partnership reveals strong economic impact

Clipper Race Yacht Club
Anna Wardley

Cork Clipper Partnership has today revealed the strong economic impact of their participation in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race.

More than 105,000 people visited Cork and Kinsale during the Clipper 09-10 stopover in Ireland in July 2010, boosting the local economy by spending €5.6 million while they were there. In addition, according to independent evaluation, Cork took a healthy slice of the media value associated with the race which reached a global cumulative audience of more than half a billion people.

Cork, the first Irish entry in the history of the Clipper Race and funded by a three-way partnership including tourism body Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork County Council, reached a cumulative global audience of 104 million people, with coverage valued at €26.5 million.

A key partner in the project was Tourism Ireland who promoted Cork through their network of overseas offices to consumers, trade and the media in key markets visited by Clipper 09-10 including the UK, France, South Africa and New York.

William Ward, Chief Executive of race organiser, Clipper Ventures Plc, said, 'We are delighted to see that Cork, Ireland’s participation in the Clipper Race has provided such strong economic impact at the stopover in Cork and Kinsale last year, with global media exposure adding to the significant value returned on the investment of the three partners.'

Mr Ward continued, 'We are seeing time and again that destinations that think outside the box and look for creative ways to market themselves are the ones that prosper – particularly during these very tough economic times.

'The low activation costs of the Clipper Race compared to other sports and our ability to make introductions to businesses and governments around the world are key to the success we are very happy to share with our sponsors.'

Commenting on today’s announcement Fiona Buckley, Director Fáilte Ireland said, 'From a tourism perspective the media coverage that Kinsale, Cork and the region received through the Clipper project will ensure that Cork is top of mind as a tourism destination in the coming years.'

A survey carried out in Kinsale and Cork during the stopover revealed 98 per cent of those who visited would return to Cork as a result of the Clipper festival, while 97 per cent would recommend Cork as a tourist destination.

But returning visitors are not the only legacy. The Cork City Marina at the Port of Cork was built in conjunction with Cork City Council specifically to welcome the ten 68-foot ocean racing yachts representing cities, states and countries from around the globe. The marina is a lasting legacy to the marine tourism infrastructure in the region and its pontoons have been playing host to many visitors to the heart of the city long after the departure of the Clipper Race fleet.

Race Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said, 'Cork and Kinsale were fantastic hosts, providing marvellous entertainment during the race festivals in both locations and I am pleased to see that they reaped the rewards. The welcome visitors received will ensure a lasting tourism legacy for years to come. '

Cork features in the six-part documentary series about Clipper 09-10 which will be broadcast around the world. The first hour-long episode will premiere in the UK on Wednesday 2 March at 2100 GMT on QUEST, Discovery Network’s free-to-air channel. The series is due to be shown in the Republic of Ireland later in the year.

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