Plean Turasoireachta Béal Átha

tadhgoduinnin

A f5yera plan

Clapper Bridge by Catryn Power - Cork Archaeologist

ActiveMe Tourism and Heritage Services

July 2016

This project was funded by

Cork County Council


DOCUMENT CONTROL SHEET

Client

Project Title

Document Title

Document No.

This Document

Comprises

Ballingeary Tourism Group

Destination Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

Destination Marketing Plan

AM0200_RP001_D01

DCS TOC Body Text No. of Appendices Total Pages

1 1 32 0 -

Rev. Status Author(s) Issue Date

D01

Draft

Brian Coakley

BE MEngSc HDipGIS MIEI

05.03.18

F01

Final

c:\users\brian\dropbox\activeme\white label sales\100 ballingeary tourism\am0200_rp001_d01_05.03.18 ballingeary marketing plan_draft.doc


Table of Contents

1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 3

1.1 GENERAL ................................................................................................................................. 3

2 MARKET RESEARCH ................................................................................................................... 5

2.1 INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................... 5

2.2 TOURISM IN IRELAND 2016 – FÁILTE IRELAND – OVERSEAS VISITOR NUMBERS .......................... 5

2.3 TOURISM IRELAND – OVERSEAS VISITORS ................................................................................. 6

2.4 REGIONAL TOURISM STATISTICS – IRELANDS SOUTH WEST........................................................ 6

2.5 REGIONAL TOURISM STATISTICS – CORK AND KERRY ................................................................ 7

2.6 OVERSEAS VISITOR PROFILE FOR SOUTHWEST REGION .............................................................. 7

2.7 DOMESTIC VISITOR PROFILE FOR SOUTHWEST REGION .............................................................. 7

2.8 IRISH TOURISM INDUSTRY CONFEDERATION (ITIC) STATISTICS 2017 ......................................... 8

2.9 STUDY AREA POPULATIONS (2016 CSO CENSUS) ...................................................................... 8

2.10 STUDY AREA TRAFFIC FLOWS AND FOOTFALL ...................................................................... 8

2.11 COUNTY AND REGIONAL TOURISM STRATEGY SUMMARY...................................................... 9

2.12 KEY TOURISM EXPERIENCES ................................................................................................ 9

2.12.1 SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES ................................................................................................ 9

2.12.2 SUPPORTING EXPERIENCES .............................................................................................. 9

2.12.3 ANCILLARY EXPERIENCES ............................................................................................... 9

3 EXISTING OFFERING AND OPPORTUNITIES ........................................................................ 10

3.1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 10

3.2 INFORMATION GATHERING...................................................................................................... 10

3.3 TOURISM GROUP QUESTIONNAIRE ........................................................................................... 10

3.4 SWOT ANALYSIS ................................................................................................................... 11

3.5 UNIQUE SELLING POINTS ........................................................................................................ 11

3.6 OPPORTUNITIES AND IDEAS ..................................................................................................... 12

3.7 TOP WALKING ROUTES ........................................................................................................... 14

3.8 TOP CYCLE ROUTES................................................................................................................ 14

3.9 BALLINGEARY TO GOUGANE BARRA VIA TOP HIDDEN GEMS AND LOCAL SECRETS ................... 14

3.10 EXISTING OFFERING DATABASE ......................................................................................... 15

4 MARKET ANALYSIS ................................................................................................................... 16

4.1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 16

4.2 KEY TARGET MARKETS .......................................................................................................... 16

4.3 KEY OVERSEAS MARKET SEGMENTATION ............................................................................... 17

4.3.1 CULTURALLY CURIOUS ...................................................................................................... 17

4.3.2 GREAT ESCAPERS ............................................................................................................... 17

4.3.3 DOMESTIC MARKET SEGMENTATION .................................................................................. 17

5 MARKETING MEASURES: PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL, PROJECTS AND MORE .......... 18

5.1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 18

5.2 MEASURE 1 – BRAND, LOGO AND IDENTITY ............................................................................. 18

5.3 MEASURE 2 - SOCIAL MEDIA ................................................................................................... 19

5.4 MEASURE 3 - TOURISM CONTENT ............................................................................................ 20

5.5 MEASURE 4 - HERITAGE TRAIL................................................................................................ 21

5.6 MEASURE 5 - TOURISM MAPS, BROCHURE AND SIGNAGE ......................................................... 21

5.7 MEASURE 6 - IRISH LANGUAGE – TRANSLATIONS AND OTHER CREATIVE MEDIA ...................... 21

5.8 MEASURE 7 - SUGGESTED VISITOR EXPERIENCE AND HOLIDAY ITINERARIES ............................ 22

5.9 MEASURE 8 - ROAD SIGNAGE AND HOW TO GET HERE MAPS ................................................... 23

5.10 MEASURE 9 - VILLAGE ENHANCEMENT AND IMPROVEMENTS ............................................... 23

5.11 MEASURE 10 - GOOGLE SERVICES ...................................................................................... 23

5.12 MEASURE 11 - SCENIC DRIVING ROUTES ............................................................................. 24

5.13 MEASURE 12 - OTHER PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL ................................................................ 24

5.14 MEASURE 13 - WEBSITE ..................................................................................................... 24

5.15 MEASURE 14 - INFOGRAPHICS ............................................................................................. 24

5.16 POTENTIAL FUNDING SOURCES ........................................................................................... 24

6 MARKETING PLAN .................................................................................................................... 25

6.1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 25

6.2 REGIONAL & NATIONAL LAUNCH............................................................................................ 26


6.3 DOMESTIC MEDIA & PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN ............................................................................ 26

6.4 OVERSEAS MEDIA & PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN ............................................................................ 27

6.5 SPONSORSHIP ......................................................................................................................... 27

6.6 DIRECT & E-MARKETING DOMESTIC AND OVERSEAS MARKET ................................................. 27

6.7 ONLINE TRAVEL AGENTS (OTA’S).......................................................................................... 27

6.8 TRANSPORT, ACCESS AND TOURING SERVICES COMPANIES ...................................................... 28

6.9 TRAVEL GUIDE BOOKS ........................................................................................................... 28

6.10 EMAIL MARKETING ............................................................................................................ 28

6.11 3 YEAR MARKETING ACTION PLAN..................................................................................... 28

7 IMPLEMENTATION .................................................................................................................... 32

7.1 GENERAL ............................................................................................................................... 32


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1 Introduction

Destination Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

1.1 General

ActiveMe Tourism and Heritage Services are pleased to present the Destination Marketing Plan for the

West Cork village of Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh / Ballingeary. The objective of the overall Tourism

Marketing Plan is to promote the village and surrounding area as a consistent brand, increase the

socio-economic benefits of tourism in the area and provide an enhanced visitor experience. It also aims

to promote a greater sense of understanding of the history, heritage, folklore and culture in Ballingeary

by connecting with and placing the local people, business and farming communities of Ballingeary at

the core of the Marketing Plan.

This Plan is the first step towards building this unique tourism destination and outlines a clear and

practical vision to development the tourism potential of Ballingeary. As shown below, the study area

encapsulates the village, local lakes, rivers, mountains, attractions and more.

With major national marketing initiatives such as the Wild Atlantic Way encouraging tourism on a

signed route, it is critical that Ballingeary both piggyback on these promotions and also target those

tourist who look for ‘hidden gems’ and those ‘secrets places’ known only to locals and those lucky few

tourists who venture off the beaten track.

‘Sometimes wandering off the beaten track is what you need to make holiday memories’

Many of Irelands most scenic and most visited areas and attractions are within rural communities and

often do not benefit from tourism they create. Take for example the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of

Kerry where visitor numbers are over 1.5 million annually. These are some of the most visited areas in

Ireland but overall the local spend per tourist is relatively low. Many visitors ‘pass by’ in their own car or

by tour bus on a day trip from a town or city and do not spend any money locally. Therefore, it is

important that Ballingeary not aim to attract as many tourists as possible but attract a type of tourist

who will stay longer and spend more locally.

With tourist behaviour changing fast as technology develops it is critical that you keep up and are not

left behind. Although this is a challenge, it also presents an opportunity for developing destinations to

compete with traditional tourism spots and some case lead the way by being at the forefront of

technology, SEO and google rankings providing what the tourists want and need both on the ground

and online.


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With approximately 60% of tourists choosing their destination and 80% planning their holidays online

and growing annually, you have a great opportunity to influence these flexible independent visitors and

point them towards Ballingeary during the ‘choosing’ and ‘planning’ stage. In addition, over 50% of

these tourists also value reviews and recommendations, so there is also an opportunity to change the

visitors itinerary during their trip at the ‘holiday’ stage. Lastly, making a good impression on tourists who

visit the area and giving them great holiday memories is a great form of marketing and can result in

repeat visitors and recommendations to friends and family.

Most tourists are no longer ‘committed’ to certain destinations, travel providers and accommodation

providers. They are venturing to parts of Ireland that are not part of traditional holiday itineraries and

are now using facebook and other platforms to ask ‘Irish’ people directly, where they should go and

what they should see and do.

Understandably, due to the size and population of Ballingeary, it is realistic to assume that the annual

budget for purely marketing will be minimal. However, other funding may be available for specific

‘marketing’ projects such as heritage trails, signage and village enhancement from multiple sources.

Small destination brands like Ballingeary must therefore not be afraid to piggyback on and exploit the

marketing of larger and more well-known brands, place names, destinations, activities, products and

more such as Gougane Barra, Wild Atlantic Way, Beara Breifne Way, St. Finbarr’s Way and more.

Every successful tourist destination started somewhere and at some point in time. Through hard work

and step by step, a destination is built with everyone work together and pulling in the same direction.

We sincerely thank all those who participated and gave of their time, experience and expertise in the

development of this Destination Marketing Plan.


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2 Market Research

Destination Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

2.1 Introduction

The key market research for Ballingeary has primarily been gained from the statistics, recent tourism

reports and other sources including:

• Fáilte Ireland Research

• Tourism Ireland Research

• Cork Tourism Strategy ‘Visit Cork’

• CSO – Central Statistics Office

• Local Tourism Groups and Businesses

These have been reviewed and presented below is an overview of the both the domestic and overseas

visitor numbers, revenue and economic factors used to compile this Marketing Plan. Please note that

some of the most recent detailed statistics are from 2016 www.failteireland.ie. Please note Tourism

Ireland statistics combined visitors to Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Ballingeary is blessed with large inland mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, winding scenic roads and green

fields. Located in the heart of West Cork near the border between Cork and Kerry, this destination can

exploit the existing visitor numbers in each county. Information from Fáilte Ireland gives an indication of

the volume of domestic and overseas visitors to Ireland and the counties of Cork and Kerry. An

accurate indication of the total number of visitors to Ballingeary can only be identified by undertaken

new custom surveys and other methods such as traffic counters and more.

2.2 Tourism in Ireland 2016 – Fáilte Ireland – Overseas Visitor Numbers

Where do Irelands Tourists come from and how much do they spend? In 2016, the Domestic Tourism

market, at nearly 10 million trips, is comparable to the total visitors from entire overseas tourism

markets of Britain, US, Germany, France and others, as shown below.

Numbers (000s) 2014 2015 2016 € 2016 € / visitor 2017

Britain 3,007 3,346 3,632 €1,110m €303 3,440 (-5.2%)

Mainland Europe 2,490 2,880 3,102 €1,658m €534 3,273 (+5.5%)

Germany 624

France 494

Spain 370

Italy 326

Netherlands 222

Poland 176

Belgium 127


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Numbers (000s) 2014 2015 2016 € 2016 € / visitor 2017

Switz. 107

US 1,005 1,129 1,294 €1,337m €905 1,509 (+16.6%)

Canada 140 165 183 213 (+16.6%)

Australia, NZ 191 204 206

Rest of World 271 312 325

Total Overseas 7,105 8,036 8,742 avg €530 9,090 (+4%)

Northern Ireland 1,708 1,492 1,358 €270

Total Out of State 8,813 9,528 10,100 avg €503

Domestic 8,991 9,125 9,282 €191

2.3 Tourism Ireland – Overseas Visitors

Tourism Ireland research (Jan 2018) shows that 2017 was another record-breaking year for overseas

tourism to Ireland. North America was up over +16% on 2016 with 2.1 million visitors to Ireland (10% of

all American visitors to Europe!!). The majority of Irelands main markets and emerging markets

including Australia and central Europe showed growth. However, visitor numbers from Britain were

down -5% in 2017, with the fall value of sterling, Brexit and that fact that Britain is now more affordable

for visitors from many of our top markets.

2018

– Press Release January

2.4 Regional Tourism Statistics – Irelands South West

The 2016 Failte Ireland regional tourism statistics visitor numbers and spend for the south west of

Ireland is shown below. The south west includes the counties of Cork and Kerry.

000s Britain Europe N. America Other Areas All Overseas NI Domestic

Visitors 593 772 591 122 2,079 84 2,006

Spend 200 280 317 52 849 38 401


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2.5 Regional Tourism Statistics – Cork and Kerry

The Failte Ireland regional tourism statistics visitor numbers (000’s) and spend (€ million) for the south

west of Ireland is shown below. The south west includes the counties of Cork (2016 data) and Kerry

(2015 data)

000s Britain Europe N. America Other Areas Overseas Domestic

Cork – visitors 505 565 266 113 1,449 967

Cork – spend 137 254 126 40 €558m 171

Kerry – visitors 166 415 347 97 1,026 779

Kerry – spend 54 79 83 18 234 203

2.6 Overseas Visitor Profile for Southwest Region

A summary of key facts for all overseas visitors in 2015/2016 include:

• 35% by air from Britain

• 37% by air from mainland Europe

• 16% by transatlantic air

• 8% by sea from Britain

• 33% of money spent on Accommodation

• 34% of money spent on Food and Drink

• 39% of overseas visitors arrived between June and August

• 12% stayed in self catering

• 41% stayed in hotels

• 24% in B&B/guesthouse

• 24% stayed with friends and relatives

• Over 2,000,000 million participated in hiking and walking

• 400,000 cycled

• 193,000 went golfing

• 131,000 went angling

• 98,000 went horse riding

• Over 53% use the internet to choose their holiday destination

• Over 80% use the internet to planning their holiday

• 83% of visitors were independent travellers and 17% by package holiday

• 94% of British travel independently

• 42% were first time visitors and 48% repeat

• 31% hired a car and 11% brought their own car

• 48% of all visitors were over 40 years of age

• 45% were white collar and 41% were managerial/professional

• 35% travelled as couples, 40% alone and 13% family

2.7 Domestic Visitor Profile for Southwest Region

A summary of key average facts for all domestic visitors in 2016 include:

• 1,746,000 domestic visitors to the southwest

• 19% of all domestic trips were to the southwest


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• Domestic visitors spent €390m in the southwest

• 60% of trips were for holidays

• 27% of trips to visit friends and relatives

• 59% of trips between April and September

• 65% of 4+ night stays are between July and September

• 55% of 1-3 night stays are between April and September

• 25% go hiking and walking

• 24% visit castles/houses

• 23% visit national parks

• 20% visit heritage centres

• 19% do watersports or water based tours

2.8 Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) Statistics 2017

2.9 Study Area Populations (2016 CSO Census)

Key local population breakdown include:

2016 Ballingeary Gaeltacht Co. Cork Co. Kerry

TOTAL Population 235 3,932 417,211 147,707

2.10 Study Area Traffic Flows and Footfall

Although no specific R584 traffic data (Ballingeary Road) or tourism numbers are available for

Ballingeary itself, there is traffic flow data for the nearby N71 Wild Atlantic Way between Glengarriff and

Bantry that can be reviewed to estimate tourist related traffic. Once estimated, this data can be used to

further analysed to estimate the tourist traffic that could potentially be diverted to Ballingeary and

Gougane Barra through various marketing campaigns, adequate road signage and print/online

mapping. A review of the Tii/NRA traffic data is summarised as follows:


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2017 Traffic - N71 Glengarriff and Bantry Daily Traffic Flows (vehicles / day)

Average Traffic Flow over entire year 2017 6,000

Wed 15 th Feb 2017 (Low Season)

5,500 (commuters/general traffic)

Wed 17 th May 2017 (Shoulder Season) 6,382

Wed 19 th July 2017 (High Season) 7,690

Wed 16 th Aug 2017 (High Season) 7,323

Wed 20 th Sept 2017 (Shoulder Season) 6,050

Difference Between Low and High Season

2,190 (potential tourists per day)

For Comparison

N71 Ring of Kerry near Templenoe Wed 15 Feb 17 1,697

N71 Ring of Kerry near Templenoe Wed 16 Feb 17

3,318 (1,621 potential tourists)

N71 Ring of Kerry near Glenbeigh Wed 15 Feb 17 2,156

N71 Ring of Kerry near Glenbeigh Wed 16 Feb 17

4,225 (2,069 potential tourists)

This data is revealing. Although the Ring of Kerry is an extremely popular tourism route, it appears that

the N71 in Cork has more potential tourism traffic during the summer months. This suggests that a

significant number of tourists on the Ring of Kerry are on Bus Tours (i.e. 1 vehicle in the counts above).

It also reveals that the N71 in Cork could afford Failte Ireland one of the best opportunities to create

official Signed Loop Drives and Cycles off the Wild Atlantic Way and a signed Wild Atlantic Way route

from Macroom to Bantry via Ballingeary.

2.11 County and Regional Tourism Strategy Summary

The ‘Visit Cork: Growing Tourism in Cork – a Collective Strategy’ document was reviewed as part of

this plan and importantly, the recommended measures in this plan in so far as possible align with the

aims of this county strategy.

2.12 Key Tourism Experiences

The following key elements of a major Marketing plan are defined and sought by Fáilte Ireland and

Tourism Ireland for their promotional use both in the domestic and overseas markets:

2.12.1 Signature Experiences

Truly iconic experiences within an overall proposition (such as Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild

Atlantic Way), that deliver on the proposition promise. Such experiences can be a combination of

products, activities, attractions and interactions that combine to enable visitors to forge deep

connection with the area. Signature Experiences may be story based, thematic or geographical in

nature, or a combination of all three, but they are of sufficient scale and appeal to serve as motivators

for visitors to come to a particular area within the wider proposition.

2.12.2 Supporting Experiences

Add value to signature experiences and really bring them to life for visitors. Supporting experiences

(primarily at the business level) may not have the sufficient individual power to attract international

visitors to an area in their own right, but they offer the necessary variety within a certain radius of the

Signature Experience and are key to engaging visitors in a seamless and immersive experience.

2.12.3 Ancillary Experiences

The wider tourism offering that must also deliver a memorable and pleasurable experience – for

example the interaction with local people.


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3 Existing Offering and Opportunities

3.1 Introduction

This section contains a basic review of destination location, current tourism offerings, accommodation,

places to eat and drink, activities, tours, walks, cycles, existing tourism content and promotional

materials available in both print and digital.

3.2 Information Gathering

The Information Gathering was undertaken in a number of ways:

• Initial group meeting that welcomed approx. 20 participants, discussing and providing relevant

and practical information but more importantly, shared their personal knowledge, experiences

and importantly both issues and opportunities.

• A general Tourism Questionnaire was issued to group members and local residents.

• SWOT Questionnaire issued to group members and local residents

• Desktop Research through Google, Tourism Websites and Business Websites within the

Ballingeary, Irish Trails, The OPW, Irish Fisheries, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland

3.3 Tourism Group Questionnaire

The initial Tourism Group meeting and questionnaire was integral to the development of this Marketing

plan. The aim of the questionnaire was to get people thinking about their own area, why they like living

there? Why they love it? How to show it off and promote the best things about it, no matter how small.

The placement of the community at the core of the Marketing Plan is essential for the successful

marketing of a small tourist destination. Without ‘buy in’ from the community, the successful

implementation of a marketing plan will be difficult.

The questionnaire asked the following:

o

o

o

o

Top Things to See and Do?

Any Local Events and Festivals?

Create a great day out?

Any Interesting Stories to Tell?

A full set of answers is contained in that Ballingeary Database (see Section 3.9) with a sample outlined

below.

Sample: Ballingeary - A Great Day Out – One of Many

• If you are an early riser, try a sunrise visit to Gougane Barra to watch the mist burn off the lake

• Enjoy a lovely Irish Breakfast with locally sourced ingredients

• After breakfast, take a morning village stroll to the Clapper Bridge ‘Stepping stones’

• Visit the Famine Pot and maybe up to the top of Illauninagh hill (191m) for great lake views

• Buy a packed lunch, Rent a Bike and a take the old road to Gougane

• Stop to admire Irelands second highest Standing Stone, Eachros Church & other ancient sites

• Visit St Finbarr’s Oratory, Hermitage and enjoy the other interesting sites, stories and folklore

• Stop for a coffee in Gougane Barra Hotel or Cronin’s Café

• Enjoy a walk in Gougane Barra Forest Park and find a great scenic spot for your picnic lunch

• Visit the source of the River Lee – A Rite of Passage, especially for Cork people!

• Returning to Ballingeary, why not learn the relaxing art of fishing on Loch Allua by boat

• Or experience the unique sport of Road Bowling or a game of local GAA sports

• Visit Corks only Crannog on Loch Allua before returning back to Ballingeary


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• Options for dinner are available in Ballingeary, Gougane Barra or Inchigeelagh

• Ballingeary has great local pubs for evening entertainment, with music on some nights

• Accommodation options in Ballingeary, Gougane Barra or Inchigeelagh

3.4 SWOT Analysis

Strength

Gaeltacht – Irish Language

History – Music – Sport – Culture – Food

Mountains, Walking, Hiking, Fishing

Scenery

Gougane Barra

Opportunities

Wild Atlantic Way and Route from Macroom

Wild Atlantic Way and Route from Bantry

Irish Language, Music, Sports and Culture

Hidden Gems

Colaiste Na Mumhan – Accommodation/more

Weakness

Access – Inland

Roads: Distance from other towns / villages

Lack of Accommodation and Food

Minimal online presence

No tradition of B&B

Threats

Wild Atlantic Way

Brexit

Few Business Opportunities

Lack of Funding

Other Tourism focal points – Kinsale etc

Pilgrim Trails – St. Finbarrs Way/Sli

Beara Breifne

Dark Sky Reserve

Outdoor Activities – Fishing, Kayaking

Cork lacks walking routes, Ballingeary does not

Peaceful and Away from it ‘All’

Source of the Lee – A Rite of Passage

Road Bowling

Mountain Biking

3.5 Unique Selling Points

Here are a number of unique selling points that can be reviewed, developed further and used as part of

the overall marketing of Ballingeary for certain market segments.

• Irish Language Gaeltacht - one of Europe’s oldest Languages

• Ballingeary has Corks only Crannog on Lough Allua – Trips, Improvements and Replica

• One of Irelands longest Clapper Bridges


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• Ballingeary is off the beaten track – this is something many tourists crave

• Nearby Iconic tourist attraction of Gougane Barra is a Major Attractor to be embraced

• Pilgrim Ways are a unique selling point.

• Source of the River Lee

• Road Bowling

• Pattern Day

• The wealth of stories in Ballingeary perfectly align with Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland

themes: Sacred Ireland, Pilgrim Paths, Ancient Ireland and Castles & Conquests

3.6 Opportunities and Ideas

Marketing thrives on ideas. Don’t be afraid to consider or even suggest something new, original, daft or

silly, it just might work!! Take for example Killarney’s new Mountain Festival. To promote this new

event, they decided to carry a couch to the snowy foothills of Carrauntoohil for an press interview and

PR photoshoot. This gained free national media coverage for the event and a reach of 100,000’s on

social media and would have cost €10,000’s had they paid for traditional media ads for the same

publicity and reach.

There are several opportunities and ideas worth considering and developing further in the coming

years including:

• Ballingeary should leverage off the nearby Wild Atlantic Way by working closely with Cork

County Council and Failte Ireland to create official Signed Loop Drives and Cycles off the Wild

Atlantic Way and create a signed Wild Atlantic Way route from N21 Macroom (Gearagh) to

Bantry (N71) via Ballingeary and vice versa. Ballingeary need to encourage tourists out of their

comfort zone and get them off the beaten track and therefore it is your job to make it easier for

people to find Ballingeary.

• Many destination marketing Slogans and Taglines can sound very generic and bland with the

same words and phrases repeated again and again. While every destination can’t have such

successful marketing lines as ‘I love NY’, you can have something that sets you apart, points to

your strengths or maybe even weaknesses, is fun, a little tongue in cheek, involves wordplay

and maybe starts a discussion. Some ideas include; ‘The road less travelled’, ‘Take your time’,

‘Be inspired’, ‘Its Lee-vly’, ‘Source of Inspiration’, ‘Powered by the Lee’ and much more. Your

initial Branding exercise will deliver this marketing element.

• Consider making the Irish Language central to your marketing with creative ideas, making it

fun and a unique experience. Create a New Event – A local walking, cycling or driving treasure

hunt in Irish with a prize for the winner. This could be a fun way for the local community to get

more people learning and speaking Irish. Alternatively create a little Quest Booklet (An Thóir

Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh) with treasure hunt questions and fun facts about Ballingeary in the

form of a heritage trail. Create a Video of locals pronouncing Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

(www.logainm.ie/en/11245) and other Irish words and key tourist phrases and find a way of

encourage their use, possibly by giving discounts for Irish speaking tourist or other innovative

proposals.

• Waymarked Walking trails can be a huge attraction. Although they on the same trail, the Slí

Mhúscraí Gaeltacht, Beara-Breifne Way, St. Finbarr’s Way and Ireland Way are perfect

marketing opportunities for Ballingeary. Ballingearys quiet back roads in the area are prefect

for development of additional cycling and walking trails, especially the possibility of combining

the stunning but rarely promoted scenic routes of the Borlin Valley and Priests Leap as one of

the most stunning and challenging cycle loops in Ireland. The combination of mountain ranges,

valleys, lakes, rivers offers a great mix of activities to promote.

• Due to rural setting and low population, a Dark Sky Reserve Status could be possible

• Promote the source of the River Lee as a Rite of Passage for Cork people and others too. In

jest, suggesting that if you are a true Cork Person you much visit the source of the Lee. A must

have photo opportunity?


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• Ballingeary is where you can really immerse tourists in Irish Culture from ancient pagan trails to

pilgrim paths and from storytelling to poetry and music. Market the rich Irish Culture – music,

song, dance, poetry, story, people, place and welcome. Living history tourism where visitors

can experience real day to day rural living, food and other activities among communities in

splendid countryside

• Tourist experiencing and taking part in local and traditional Road Bowling and GAA

• Create short snappy videos not about business but about the destination and people. Although

at the cutting edge of interactive video marketing using your own computers camera and

microphone, the new personalised ‘Ikea’ video is fun way to help promote your destination and

also combine the promotion of your language. Without the costly elements, a similar style video

could be created to promote Ballingeary and the Irish Language together in a fun way. Visit

https://goo.gl/vTCfrM which is my own ‘Brian’ personal video from Ikea. Join Ikea Family for

your own personalised video.

• Invite a popular travel journalist to Ballingeary and in conjunctions with other businesses treat

them to all you can offer in return for media coverage of your destination.

• Build on the wonderful Casadh na Spríde community park, orchard, picnic area and garden.

Use this as an attraction to make people stop in the village, ‘the Perfect Picnic Spot in West

Cork’. Make sure everyone in the community is on board and sharing and promoting online and

on social media as much as they can. People power.

• Maps and guides to be clear, concise and contain high quality photos and easy to remember

fun facts

• Facebook groups for Ireland such as ‘Ireland Travel Tips’ have eager tourists wanting to know

where to go on their trip to Ireland. Without blatantly promoting only Ballingeary, consider

writing a set of suggested concise itineraries with businesses in the West Cork area and

include Ballingeary as a 1-3 night stop with interesting thing to do suggested.

• Set up the popular ‘Down Memory Lane’ Facebook groups and encourage people in the

locality to upload old photos and then members can help date and name the people and places

(crowd sourcing essential info). They can also contribute stories, folklore, photographs and

other oral histories before they are lost to time. Facebook is a good platform to collect and

store this information.

• Continue and support other projects and research such as Local Place Names, Traditions

and Folklore. Seek and avail of local training for these types of projects.

• Similar roadside signs to that seen in Kerry – roadside ‘Geology of West Kerry’

• Enter annual ‘Best Place to Holiday’ competitions such as in the Irish Times. The majority of

the ‘pitch’ can be written and refined now in anticipation of future competitions.

• Embrace the opportunity that Weddings in Gougane Barra present for accommodation and

more. Make it Irelands Romantic Capital with Gougane Barra, gentle boat trips on the lakes,

walks and more.

• Some activities such as Fishing can be seen as difficult to do or find and as a result off-putting.

Consider a series of ‘Learn to…’ activities such as Fishing, Photography, Painting, Writing,

Cooking, Road Bowl, Kick a point and more with local experts.

• Investigate Bike rental in Ballingeary with possible grant aide available

• Everyone is competing for walkers and cyclists so combine these activities with the great

nearby heritage to get the best results. It’s important to note that ‘come see our history’ can

and should co-exist with ’come see our mountain walks’ with approximately 75% of tourists

who visit heritage sites also participating in outdoor activities. Work with landowners and/or

Coilte, investigate the Mountain Bike tourism market.

• Consider developing tourism and heritage projects around Corks only Crannog on Lough

Allua. Boat or Kayak trips and in conjunction with Cork County Council Heritage Officer

investigate the possibility of finding or recreating the old causeway, improvements to the

crannog or a Replica on nearby dry land.


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3.7 Top Walking Routes

Based on the results of the tourism questionnaire and site assessment, the working draft of

Ballingearys Top Walking routes include:

• Clapper Bridge ‘Stepping Stones’ Walk

• Ballingeary to Gougane Barra via the back road

• Walk to the top of Illauninagh hill - Oileán Eidhneach

• Historical Walk of the Village

• South Lake Road

• Bog Road Walk

• River Walk taking in Gurteenacuille

• Old Roads to Gougane

• Gougane Barra Forest Park Walks

• Gougane Barra Horseshoe and other mountain walks

• Slí Gaeltacht Mhúscraí

• Beara-Breifne Way

• St. Finbarrs Way

3.8 Top Cycle Routes

Based on the results of the tourism questionnaire and site assessment, the working draft of

Ballingearys Top Cycle routes include:

• Ballingeary to Gougane Barra on Old Back Roads

• South Lake Road Cycle

• Cork City to Beara Cycle Loop Route

• Borlin Valley Cycle

• Priests Leap Cycle

• Cycle Loop – Ballingeary, Pass of Keimaneigh, Borlin Valley, Top of the Coom Loop

• Smaller Vilalge Loops

3.9 Ballingeary to Gougane Barra via Top Hidden Gems and Local Secrets

Based on the results of the tourism questionnaire and site assessment, the working draft of

Ballingearys Top Hidden Gems and Local Secrets include:

• Clapper Bridge ‘Stepping Stones’ Walk

• Source of the River Lee Walk in Gougane Barra Forest Park

• Walk up illauninagh

• Back Road to Lough Allua

• Corks only Crannog

• Irelands second tallest standing stone in Gortnakilla

• Teampallin Eachros church


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• The Famine Pot

• Church stained glass windows

3.10 Existing Offering Database

As the existing offerings and other information are changing on a continuous basis, it is recommended

that this information be recorded digitally and stored on a Ballingeary Master Database (excel or

similar) over time. For this Plan, an outline Database was set up with the following ‘Tabs’ (pages) for

key Tourism Offerings and other information:

Tab

Database Information

1 Accommodation

2 Activities (Businesses and more)

3 Tourist Attractions / Heritage Sites / Places of Interest

Walking and Hiking Trails

Cycling and Driving Routes

Heritage Trails

Fishing Spots

Nature Trails

4 Hidden Gems and Stories

5 Events

6 Create a Visitor Experience Packages (Info, Current Rates and more)

7 Villages, Town, Mountains and more

8 Existing Tourism Offerings (Online/Print/Other)

9 Existing Visitor Numbers to Attractions

10 Existing Visitor Numbers

11 Estimated Costs of Proposed Marketing Material and Products

12 Tenders Received for Proposed Marketing Material and Products

13 Funding and Expenditure – Potential and Secured Funding

14 More Tabs/pages in the Future

During the lifetime of this plan it is recommended to collect significantly more Tourism Content to allow

the development of various marketing materials and products.

It is recommended that above figures are updated annually in the Ballingeary Master Database and

used as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) into the future.


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4 Market Analysis

4.1 Introduction

The following gives an overview of the Market Analysis both nationally and internationally.

4.2 Key Target Markets

From the market research carried out, the key markets for Ballingeary include:

1. Domestic Market – Full direct access is very important due to the fact that Irish visitors will

travel practically all year round with December and January (excluding the Christmas and New

Year period) being the most challenging months. The Domestic Market accounted in 2016 for

€1.8 billion in domestic tourism expenditure. Without the domestic market, many of the existing

small and medium sized tourism businesses would not survive.

2. Great Britain – our largest source of overseas visitors. Key access links through the ports of

Cork, Rosslare and Dublin Harbours and the airports of Cork, Kerry, Shannon and Dublin.

3. US – key with diaspora links and are avid touring visitors. Key air access links through

Shannon, Dublin and now Cork Airport with more routes announced annually.

4. Germany – our largest Mainland Europe market. Key access links through Cork, Kerry,

Shannon and Dublin Airports. Ferry access through Cork and Rosslare Harbour as many

German visitors will transit via England and Wales.

5. France – our second largest Mainland Europe market. Key access links through the Port of

Cork and Rosslare Harbour, and the airports of Cork, Shannon, Kerry and Dublin.


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4.3 Key Overseas Market Segmentation

Overseas – as highlighted through the research and analysis carried out, the key market segments

include the Culturally Curious and the Great Escapers. These 2 significant market segments have been

identified and are currently being targeted by all the marketing and promotional activities directed by

Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.

4.3.1 Culturally Curious

They tend to be middle aged (35-54) and are likely to travel as a couple or with other adult friends.

They want to broaden their minds and expand their experiences through landscape, history and

culture. They are curious and keen to learn about the places they travel to and are independent ‘active’

sightseers. They want to encounter new places and out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

4.3.2 Great Escapers

Great Escapers tend to be younger (25-45), with 40 per cent under 35. They are often couples, some

with young children, or travelling with friends and older family members. They need time out from busy

lives and careers and travel as a couple or family. They are specifically interested in rural holidays and

are interested in getting connected to nature especially the more remote and exciting places. They are

more likely to take part in slightly more strenuous, but not extreme, exploration.

4.3.3 Domestic Market Segmentation

The Domestic Market is vital to all year round tourism. It is on our doorstep and Irish people annually

demonstrate their love of leisure breaks and home holidays. It is also essential to the continued

existence of small family run businesses be they accommodation, food, pub, activity, attraction or

service providers. Without the domestic market, many rural destinations, businesses and communities

would cease to operate.

Fáilte Ireland has identified market segments here too and whilst the ‘Connected Families’ and

‘Footloose Socialisers’ are the two most relevant to the Ballingeary, we have added the key Special

Interest / Segments of Walkers, Cyclists and the Active Retirement Market. These significant market

segments have been identified and are currently being targeted by all the marketing and promotional

activities directed by Fáilte Ireland as highlighted in the domestic market research. Activities engaged

in by domestic holidaymakers in Ireland in 2016 include:


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5 Marketing Measures: Promotional

Material, Projects and more

5.1 Introduction

In no particular order, this section outlines the recommended key promotional measures, materials,

projects, media and information required to successfully market Ballingeary and should be read in

conjunction with the 3 Year Action Plan. It is essential that any recommendations are practical and

realistic considering the expected limited resources and funding over the lifetime of the plan.

With this in mind, a wide variety of marketing measures and tools have been included. Text heavy

brochures and other costly projects and materials were not considered as the majority of visitors now

crave clear and concise information that can be quickly consumed, easily understood, shared online

and on social media.

A rural community holiday destination as opposed to a business has a distinct marketing advantage in

that you have ‘people power’ to distribute the workload, disperse costs and spread the word both by

personal recommendations and share online through social media and more.

Please note that many of the individual measures outlined below significantly overlap in terms of tasks,

cost and budget. For example, if a heritage trail project was commissioned, it would require input from

several other proposed measures including the design of a map/brochure and the research, collection

and creation of tourism content and photos.

It is recommended that the Ballingeary Tourism group appoint a small steering committee (ideally 2/3

people) to oversee projects and measures and to make the necessary decision in a fast and efficient

manner. Marketing is a creative exercise and is subjective. Therefore it is important to note that it will

be impossible to ensure everyone is happy.

5.2 Measure 1 – Brand, Logo and Identity

For marketing and communications, ‘Image is King’ and your logo is your key image. Ballingeary is

defined by its people, language, heritage, history, culture and landscape. Therefore the aim is not to

create a new destination brand but to identify Ballingearys strengths and build a ‘Story’ from these that

makes the destination stand out. It is recommended to embrace and promote how peaceful and

relaxing a holiday in Ballingeary could be, Cork’s Hidden Gem and more. It is key that this ‘Story’ or

Brand is placed consistently through all marketing measures outlined in this section.

• Commission a destination branding exercise – Logo and Branding

• This could involve a local marketing business or local graphic artist or competition

• Logo design principles: simple, minimal detail, no text, no complicated graphics, memorable,

versatile for all media, appropriate and easy to print large and small,

• Outputs: Name, Motif/Logo, Key Colours, Slogan/Tagline and maybe Brand Guidelines


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• If required, Brand Identity Guidelines should include name, mission statement, vision and

brand logo/motif, typography, imagery, permitted brand use and incorrect brand use.

5.3 Measure 2 - Social Media

It is recommended that a Ballingeary page/profile be set up on social media platforms such as

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tripadvisor, Google, YouTube and more.

This will be the ‘live’ showcase of the destination on the domestic and international stage. A number of

key items include

• All social media must consistently carry the Ballingeary Logo/Brand Identity

• Appoint administrators to manage each platform

• A strategy needs to be considered and planned for the number of weekly/daily posts, style of

posts and tone of posts. Social media is not ‘free’ as it requires time and effort to manage.

• Work with, and piggyback on the social media platforms of local business, newspapers and

more by sharing posts, tagging business/people, using hashtags and more.

• To connect to more people and consider creating your own and using hashtags such as

#loveballingeary #cork #westcork #ismaithliom, #wildatlanticway #heritage #history #walking

#cycling #lee #fishing #nature #birdwatching and there Irish equivalents to spread the word

and be more easily found on social media searches and filter that match peoples interests

• You must also consider the different the types or themes of posts to be publicised weekly. For

example you could post about Walking each Wednesday or Fishing on Friday.

• A strategy needs to be in place to respond to messaging and comments posted to pages

• Prepare a step by step guide for all Ballingeary community and business about how to use

Facebook and more and share content

• Arrange grant–aided one-to-one training for social media

• To reduce the work load and save time is it advised to use a social media tool like ‘Hootsuite’

to manage various platforms and schedule future posts. Due to restricted budgets, it is also

advised to link various platforms, so if you post on one platform, it will automatically post on all

other platforms.

• Also consider using AirBnB Experiences, Yelp Listings and more

• Register with travel forums and facebook pages (i.e. ‘Ireland Travel Tips’) to give advice to

tourists planning their holidays and promote West Cork and Ballingeary


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5.4 Measure 3 - Tourism Content

When it comes to tourism and online marketing, ‘Content is King’. It is essential that you tell ‘Your Story’ by

selling the destination through original, authentic, high quality, interesting and captivating tourism content.

Therefore, the importance of Tourism Content cannot be underestimated.

You will require high quality Tourism Content to undertake, design and populate a wide variety of digital and

traditional marketing initiatives such as heritage trails, maps, brochures, signs, ads, social media pages and

posts, websites, and much more into the future. Content is an extremely valuable investment as it can be

reused not only for Ballingeary marketing projects but also for other surrounding areas, groups, the Local

Authority, Fáilte Ireland, The Heritage Council, Irish Trails, Coillte and more.

Tourism Content is the story you tell to sell your destination in the marketing and online world and high

quality content is what will drive your website and Google search ranking, social media reach and marketing

initiatives. The various elements of a high quality tourism content process are outlined below:

Tourism Content Tasks

Tourism Measures requiring content

Detailed Research (desktop and on-site)

Websites – Responsive/mobile friendly

Writing Descriptive, Fresh and Original Interpretive Text Brochures, Maps & Printed Media

Digital Mapping - GPS Surveys and Online Maps

Social Media, Blogs and PR

Graphic Design

Ads and Other Traditional Marketing

Photography and Drone

Promo videos and other media

Video, Audio and Drone

Audio Guides and podcasts

Interviews with Locals

Heritage Trails

Content Database and SEO

Suggested Itineraries

For example, if you collect and create Tourism Content as part of a Heritage Trail project, this stock of

content can also help reduce costs and be used for any current or future tourism marketing initiatives or

measures (shown above) by Ballingeary and importantly by other funding partners as part of their own

tourism strategies and initiatives in the longer term. Tourism Content can often be overlooked and be an

afterthought with insufficient budget allowed for, when funding and developing marketing products such as a

website.

It is recommended that an initial base of tourism content (see tasks above) be collected for the following:

• 10 Points of Interest

• 6 Walking routes (easy to hard) – Ideally loop walks to bring you back to Ballingeary


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• 3 Cycle routes (easy to hard) – Ideally loop cycles

• 3 Driving routes – Ideally loop drives

• 5 Scenic viewing points

• Fishing and outdoors activity locations

• Annual events

5.5 Measure 4 - Heritage Trail

At the earliest opportunity, it is recommended that a Heritage Trail be developed in conjunction with the local

community, the local heritage society, and other contributors. Based on the available budget, a high quality

trail containing rich content for approximately 10 sites/items would be envisaged. This single route could

encompass the ‘best parts’ of the existing driving routes, will be easier to market and allow tourists to

experience Ballingeary in one go and help increase length of stay. This approach should also allow

Ballingeary to avail of possible additional direct/co-fund/matched funding from the Local Authority, Heritage

Council, Fáilte Ireland and other sources. Importantly, the development of a Heritage Trail includes a range

of tasks and the creation of valuable tourism content such as photography, local stories, original descriptive

text, interviews with locals, maps, gps info and more which can then be used on a variety of other marketing

uses such as social media posts, website content, maps, apps and more.

5.6 Measure 5 - Tourism Maps, Brochure and Signage

It is recommended that a set of Maps be designed for use online and in print. By firstly designing a

base map with all key information, you can collect and design additional map layers for various specific

uses such as:

• Heritage Trail Maps

• Walking, Cycling and Outdoor Activity Maps

• Fishing, Wildlife or Nature Maps

• Driving and How To Get Here Maps

What is often overlooked is that once a print map or brochure has been designed, you can also use the

digital map design graphics for:

• An A4/A3 to DL tourism brochure

• An interactive digital online map

• Digital map for various website pages (including visitor and local business websites)

• Information boards and other physical signage

• Social Media

5.7 Measure 6 - Irish Language – Translations and Other Creative Media

The recommended tourism measures should be undertaken in both Irish and English. However, if

funding is available in the future, various media should be translated into German and French. It is also

recommended to consider developing a local video promoting the unique aspects of the Irish

Language, providing useful tourist phrases and how to pronounce them.


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5.8 Measure 7 - Suggested Visitor Experience and Holiday Itineraries

With 60-80% of tourists planning their holiday online, you have the opportunity to influence their chosen

destinations and their holiday itinerary online by developing suggested Visitor Experiences, Holiday

Itineraries, Maps & Top 10 Lists based on:

• Type of Visitor (Domestic or Overseas)

• Type of Group (single, couple, family, elderly)

• Interests (Culture, Attractions, Heritage, Activities)

• Time Available (How Long is their trip/holiday – 4 days, 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks and more)

• How to give them info (Online, Printed, App, etc)

In year one, it is recommended to develop one 3 day itinerary to give the visitor an inspiring and

authentic experience of Ballingeary linking various locations, stories, attractions, activities, businesses

and service providers in and around Ballingeary. The group workshop questionnaire has already

collected potential ideas for these itineraries. Where possible, you should align with and piggyback on

Fáilte Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way which puts local and interesting stories at the core of how suggested

itineraries are presented. Engaging with the local community for their input and feedback is essential

for buy-in to the marketing plan, projects and the sustainability of Ballingeary. A sample of Visitor

Experience Itinerary ideas may include ‘In the footsteps of Finbarr’ and ‘Heritage, Food or Literary

Trails’.

It is also recommended to create suggested maps and holiday itineraries would include Ballingeary as

one of several destinations on a 1-2 week itinerary, as highlighted in a sample map below.


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5.9 Measure 8 - Road Signage and How to Get Here Maps

Ballingeary, like many rural villages that are off the main tourism routes, can be difficult to find and

therefore difficult to encourage tourists out of their comfort zone and off the well signposting main

routes such as the Wild Atlantic Way. However, there are visitors who do like getting off the beaten

track and therefore it is your job to make it easier for people to find Ballingeary and to choose

Ballingeary as an ideal getaway destination.

It is recommended that a set of maps for use online and in print be designed to firstly show where

Ballingeary is at national, regional and local level and secondly how to get there by road, rail, bike, sea

and air. These maps must be clutter free, minimal detail and simple to read and understand.

In addition to Maps it is also recommended to work with the Local Authority and Fáilte Ireland to

improve road signage to Ballingeary through a thorough Road Signage Audit and changes to the

physical signage.

5.10 Measure 9 - Village Enhancement and Improvements

It is recommended that you build upon the fantastic work already complete in the village centre. With

every other local destination competing with Ballingeary for tourist spend, it is crucial that you can

‘stand out’ from the crowd.

Aim to create a village that people notice online and on social media. Importantly the village should

force you to slow down, take a second look and get them out of the car. The winding road within and on

the approach to the village act as a natural traffic calming measure to slow people down. Ballingeary

must be easy to stop at, enticing, interesting, has easily accessible parking and is something worthy of

a photo opportunity.

Once someone has stopped, it is important that that nearby tourist information and signage is obvious,

high quality, easy to understand and encourages people to stay, go for a walk, visit a nearby attraction,

get some food or maybe stay the night. Consideration should be given to introducing vibrant colours in

the village, easy and obvious parking areas, additional tourist signage and a unique and ‘must do’

photo opportunity.

5.11 Measure 10 - Google Services

Ignore Google at your peril. The vast array of ‘free’ services and products Google offers means that

from a tourism point of view, it is essential that your destination and local business has a presence on

Google and Google Maps. The more you use Google services, the more Google likes you and

improves your SEO ranking on search results, thereby creating more exposure to people searching for

destinations and planning their holidays. It is recommended that the following services be used and if

required training be sought to help business use these services:

• Google Gmail

• Google My Business

• Google Places

• Google Local Guide

• Google Trips

• Google+ social media platform

• Google My Maps

• It is also recommended that TripAdvisor and other platforms be used.


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5.12 Measure 11 - Scenic Driving Routes

At present there are a number of existing scenic driving routes in and around the Ballingeary that

should be further investigated, promoted, audited in term of existing signage and additional signage

provided through the Local Authority and Fáilte Ireland including:

1. The Pass of Keimaneigh

2. Linking Macroom (Gearagh) to Bantry (Wild Atlantic Way) via Ballingeary

3. The Borlin Valley

4. The Priests Leap

5. Wild Atlantic Way

5.13 Measure 12 - Other Promotional Material

It is recommended that a range of other promotional material be considered including: Business Cards,

Pop-Up Displays, Stickers and more

5.14 Measure 13 - Website

With up to 80% of tourists choosing their holiday destination and planning their holiday online, a quality

website is a must. From a tourism point of view, a website is only as good as the content it displays

(see Section 5.4) and how it sells your destination. Therefore, an initial investment in a good foundation

of digital content can be invaluable into the future and not only used to populate your website. The cost

of website development is very much dependent on the required features (i.e. booking engine, e-

commerce and other features) and proposed tourism content. A basic website is cost effective in the

short term but it will not rank high on Google searches as it will not contain pages of rich tourism

content required to appear on Page 1 results of a Google search. Therefore you will effectively be

invisible online. It is recommended to development a website only when adequate funding and content

is available. The website should take the key elements of the destination brochure and vice versa to

ensure consistency and in general should include the following elements:

Overarching Brand Identity How to Get Here Blogs - Vlogs

Themes & Geography Places to Stay Newsletter

Things to See & Do Places to Eat Social Media

Visitor Special Offers Entertainment Interactive Maps

Trails and Itineraries Contact Details Gallery and Video

Top Things to See & Do Who We Are 100% original text / SEO

5.15 Measure 14 - Infographics

Infographics are an excellent and effective marketing tool and a great way to visualise tourism

information and attractions in Ballingeary. It is recommended that Ballingeary design a set of

infographics that can be continually used and shared online. The infographic may include statistics of

the Ballingeary area such as no. of castles, heritage sites, highest mountain, biggest lakes and more.

5.16 Potential Funding Sources

A variety of funding and training sources are available including the Local Authority, Fáilte Ireland,

Heritage Council, Leader, Local Development Partnerships, EU Horizon 2020 Cultural Heritage

Research and Innovation Fund, OPW, Inland Fisheries, Irish Trails, Local Business Sponsorship,

Competitions, www.getinvolved.ie.


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6 Marketing Plan

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6.1 Introduction

“Marketing starts on your doorstep” and this is where Destination Ballingeary starts! The recent

meeting and questionnaire highlights the importance of knowing what is on our doorstep, word of

mouth and the interest and enthusiasm that exists for all to work together. It also shows that with a

good practical plan, realistic targets, good leadership, guidance and supports, communities and

business can come together and promote Ballingeary.

Ballingeary has three major qualities for tourism:

• It is retains the culture and spirit of Ireland’s rural areas and small villages.

• It is located within an area of outstanding natural beauty and a landscape that lends itself to

many outdoor activities of both Soft (gentle and relaxing) and Hard (physically demanding

activities).

• There are a number of major built heritage, natural and cultural features with the potential to

act as major attractors to the area.

By partnering with nearby attractions, villages and other marketing groups, Ballingeary can achieve

greater results from its marketing funds. It is somewhat evident that the vast majority of tourists to the

area visit Gougane Barra and skip passed Ballingeary. The challenge is therefore to turn this problem

into an opportunity and take advantage of visitor numbers by adding to the offering, providing additional

accommodation options and more ‘things to see and do’ to visitors who want a bit of culture, dip into

nature and love idea of a rural getaway.

In order for Ballingeary to achieve substantial growth in the economic benefits it receives from tourism,

the following basic strategies are needed. Firstly, broadening its market appeal beyond Gougane Barra

into food and more and secondly strengthening of the appeal of its outdoor activities.

Vision: In Summary, the Plan aims to establish Ballingeary as an outstanding Tourism destination in

the Heart of West Cork offering an exceptional range of quality experiences in heritage, food, outdoor

activities and living and built cultural heritage that will bring significant socio-economic benefits to the

residents and businesses of the area, improve quality of life and a better experience for the visitor.

There are 3 key interconnecting strands to the implementing of the Marketing Plan:

1. The local market and communities – building the Ballingeary Brand

2. The Domestic Market – Walkers, Cyclists, Over 55s, Connected Families & Footloose

Socialisers

3. The Overseas Market focussing for the first 3 Years on the Great Britain and German markets

– Culturally Curious and Great Escapers

It will be vital that business and regional groups support and integrate the Ballingeary Marketing Plan

into their own promotion platforms and activities. This will be a defining element of the Plan.


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6.2 Regional & National Launch

Once a number of key actions have been undertaken such as branding, the Ballingeary Marketing Plan

should begin with a Regional and National Launch. This should showcase of all the unique elements of

the Ballingeary presented through quality visuals, story-telling, folklore, food, music, activity, etc. It

should be fully reflective of the lakes, rivers, mountains, valleys, heritage, culture, people, and

communities and place.

The results here must be two-fold:

1. Build Ballingeary awareness to both trade and locals across the counties of Cork and Kerry

2. Build Ballingeary awareness across the whole domestic market but particularly to key market

segments – walkers, cyclists, Over 55’s, Connected Families and Footloose Socialisers

3. Find Brand Ambassadors / Influencers – Journalists, Celebrities and Sports People who would

help promote Ballingeary. Suggestions may include journalist Pól Ó Conghaile and others who

embrace Hidden Gems.

4. Get Media and Press interested in the Ballingeary both at local, regional and national level. In

return for media coverage, arrange a free trip for a national travel journalist to showcase the

local attractions, activities, scenery, food and accommodation.

5. Build business and industry awareness – Fáilte Ireland Departments, Wild Atlantic Way Team,

Tourism Ireland Departments, Irish Tour Operators, Irish Travel Journalists & Guide Book

Editors, Tourism Trade within Ballingeary, etc.

6.3 Domestic Media & Publicity Campaign

Implementation of the Domestic Campaign would involve firstly creating a great press release and

secondly contacting the most popular local and national media platforms (see below) and invite

journalists to come and visit Ballingeary. Research the key journalists with regard to travel, walking,

food, heritage, etc. Create complimentary tailor made itineraries for them preferably with a local guide

and host and make a follow up call on their departure to ensure a most memorable trip, ensure publicity

and build relationships! Let your Fáilte Ireland contact know about these visits or events as they may

be able to sponsor. There may also be regular opportunities to have Ballingeary featured by

contributing valuable tourism stories and news features such as Walk of the Week, and allow use of

any photos and video free. A competition and prize is often a good way of securing editorial coverage

and additional value can also often be negotiated. The more people experience and talk about

Ballingeary, the better Ambassadors they’ll become. KPI: Successful journalist visit and media

coverage of Ballingeary as a destination within Ireland. Using any contributed Ballingeary tourism

stories and content.

Newspapers Radio TV Magazine Online

Irish Times Lyric FM Irish TV Senior Times Seniortimes.ie

Irish Independent Radio 1 TG4 Outsider Irishtrails.ie

Irish Examiner Newstalk RTE 1 RTE Guide Irishcycling.ie

Farmers Journal Today FM RTE 2 Local Advertiser Mountaineering.ie

Sunday Times 2FM TV3 Activeme.ie

Sunday Business Post Cork 96FM Programmes Forums:


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Newspapers Radio TV Magazine Online

Southern Star WLR Nationwide Boards.ie

West Cork People Tipp FM Other Rollercoaster.ie

The Muskerry News Live95FM LonelyPlanet.com

Munster Express Other Regional Tripadvisor.com

Cork Independent

Frommers.com

Evening Echo

others

The Corkman

The Kerryman

Kerry’s Eye

Other Regional

6.4 Overseas Media & Publicity Campaign

Overseas Publicity Team at Tourism Ireland is part of an Integrated Communications Brief which

informs their advertising, PR, e-marketing and direct marketing strategies. They liaise with 22,000+

media in each of their 20 offices across the globe every month, sharing stories and content. In 2017,

they generated an Equivalent advertising value of nearly €400 million. An inexpensive way to gain

exposure for Ballingeary would be to get involved in these activities by providing the Coordinator with

press releases, express your interest in any competitions, offer to host media events by contacting

Fáilte Ireland, express your interest in attending a press reception/event by visiting the website

www.tourismirelandindustryopportunities.com. Your digital PR campaign should include collaborating

with Tourism Ireland’s Publicity teams who are increasingly working with new media, bloggers and

social media influencers, who share their Irish travel experiences with their audiences. Contact the

Digital PR team publicity@tourismireland.com or Tel: +353 1 4763424 or media contact page. KPI’s:

Inclusion of things to do, itineraries, images and Ballingeary as a destination within Ireland in FI / TI

publicity, news bulletins, press news, familiarisation trips and develop relationship with the key people.

6.5 Sponsorship

Although Ballingeary may not have the funding for sponsorship to build brand awareness, there would

be opportunities for the Ballingeary Tourism Group

to provide non-financial ‘soft sponsorship’ to

support to local business, ventures, activities, events, festivals such as marketing advice, key contacts

in Cork County Council, Failte Ireland and other opportunities.

6.6 Direct & E-marketing Domestic and Overseas Market

The best approach is to leverage with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for the domestic and key

international markets by creating good tourism content. For example, write an article/blog for the

German market on St. Finbarr’s Way and Gougane Barra and how pilgrims or walkers can enjoy this in

Ballingeary. Translate it into German along with images and online website/social media links and send

to Tourism Ireland to target German Walkers. Varied content should be created for all Tourism Ireland’s

and Fáilte Ireland’s platforms over time see www.tourismirelandindustryopportunities.com and free

Ezine Ireland sent to over 2,000 key US contacts. KPIs: Visible online promotion of Ballingeary

6.7 Online Travel Agents (OTA’s)

Acting as the link between tourism providers / suppliers and customers, Online Travel Agents (OTA)

are now the online version of traditional travel agents and tour operators. Most accommodation

businesses will have a presence sites such as Booking.com, Expedia.com, AirBnB.ie, Orbitz,


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Destination Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

Travelocity, Last Minute, Hostelworld, Tripadvisor, hotels.com and more. These sites have now

become more active in promoting the key experiences and activities in each destination they offer to

drive sales and length of stay. Destination Ballingeary should provide a Letter of Introduction to all key

OTA’s and once contact has been made then additional tourism content can be provided. KPI:

Inclusion of Ballingeary on their websites as a destination along with attractions, activities, photos.

6.8 Transport, Access and Touring Services Companies

Overseas visitors spend large periods of time on the websites of air and sea transport, access and car

hire companies when planning their holidays. Ballingeary should contact and provide a Letter of

Introduction and tourism content to the marketing department of key websites such as Irishferries.com,

portofcork.ie, corkairport.com, buseireann.ie, irishrail.ie, hertz.ie, europecar.ie and more. Provide

tourism content to this provider. KPI: Inclusion of Ballingeary on their websites and backlinks back to

your own social media pages and website. When adequate accommodation is available consider

organising a special offer for overseas visitors in partnership with ferry companies.

6.9 Travel Guide Books

Although online planning is used by the majority of travellers, Guidebooks are still part of the marketing

mix. Ballingeary should buy a copy of key publications, research them and when contact is made,

provide the type of information, content and services each publication focusses on. KPI: Inclusion of

Ballingeary on their guidebooks in some form.

UK US German French

Ireland AA Lonely Planet ADAC-Reiseführer Irland plus Guide du Routard

Eyewitness Travel Frommer’s Polyglott on tour Irland Michelin

Frommer’s Ireland Fodor’s Iwanowski-Reiseführer Irland Gallimard

Insight Guide Rough Guide Marco Polo Irland / Dublin Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet Rick Steves Baedeker Irland Geoguide

National Geographic Spirallo Dublin Petit Futé

DuMont Reisetaschenbuch Irland

DuMont direkt Irland

DuMont Reise-Hanbuch Irland

Dorling Kindersley Top 10 Dublin

6.10 Email Marketing

Once you have a website in place, email marketing can be highly personalised and can be segmented

into specific target markets or activity based options such as domestic and international, special

interest groups, and travel trade. The important Ballingeary database can be used to store contact

details for tools like Mailchimp which is free if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers and send up to

12,000 emails per month. Email Campaigns should be well thought out not sent out too frequently and

should be tailor made to the market or market segment that you are targeting and translated if required.

The newsletters/email design should be consistent with the brand and promote the website and all the

social media platforms with links and calls to action to engage. KPI’s: Using Mailchimp analytics

Typical Email Open Rate: 22%, and Click Through Rate: 2.1% (how many subscribers clicked on a link

in the email).

6.11 3 Year Marketing Action Plan

The following Marketing Action Plan recommends a combination of Marketing Activities and

Promotions representing both overseas and domestic opportunities for Ballingeary.


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Whilst Ballingeary should leverage off the Wild Atlantic Way and the Tourism Strategies and Plans of

Cork and Kerry Council, the following promotions and activities are recommended that will ultimately,

build the brand, identity and destination of Ballingeary.

This Action Plan is a summary and hierarchy of marketing measures to be implemented each year. As

you can see in the Action Plan below, it is essential that many of the marketing measures are repeated

annually to ensure maximum impact. This Plan must be read wholly in conjunction with all relevant

sections of the report in order to understand the scale of work and costs involved with each marketing

measure.

The Plan is realistic and practical given the expected available budgets, marketing targets and

estimated costs/human resources available to deliver the maximum impact in the short, medium and

long term.

Although an initial annual of budget of €5,000 has been confirmed, it is assumed that additional funds

may be secured on a project by project basis. Therefore, the Action Plan contains a hierarchy of

measures for an assumed budget of approx. €20,000 per annum over 3 years. It is assumed that the

annual budget may come from Local Fundraising, Cork County Council, Fáilte Ireland, The Heritage

Council, Leader and others and may not be divided equally across the 3 year plan. It is also assumed

the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) or other agencies may provide some staff assistance for a number of

hours per weeks. For comparison purposes, a 100 bedroom hotel, proactive in marketing, could have a

budget of up to €100,000 per annum excluding staff salaries. The Action Plan also contains Key

Performance Indicators (KPI) to enable you to monitor progress where possible.

Item Marketing Action Plan and Rough Costings Year 1 Year 2 Year 3

Assumed Budget Available €20,000 €20,000 €20,000

1 Branding / Logo / Name Design €1,000

2 Social Media Extend reach & sponsored posts

Facebook - Social Media Campaign Free €500 €1,000

Targets/KPI (Key Performance Indicator) 1,000 likes 3,000 10,000

Target: Posts Per Week 2 4 6

Resources 2 hrs / week 6 hrs /week 10 hrs / week

Twitter Free Free €250

Targets/KPI 1,000 followers 2,000 4,000

Instagram Free Free Free

Targets/KPI 500 followers 1,000 2,000

Pinterest Free Free Free

Targets/KPI 100 followers 300 900

Social Media Training TBC TBC TBC

Staff - Secretariat provision and Social Media CE Scheme CE Scheme CE Scheme

3 Tourism Content – various Digitisation tasks

Points of Interest / Attractions / Heritage €500 €500 €500

Walking routes €500 €500 €500

Cycle routes €500 €500 €500

Driving routes €500 €500 €500


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Item Marketing Action Plan and Rough Costings Year 1 Year 2 Year 3

Scenic views €500 €500 €500

Fishing and other activities €500 €500 €500

Events €250 €250 €250

Local Businesses €250 €250 €250

4 Heritage Trail

10 sites/items incl. research, interviews & more €15,000+ €2,000 €5,000

Including Items 3 & 4, Expand each year

5 Tourism Map, Brochure and Road Signage

Design A1 master map and several map layers €5,000 - €2,000

Design Brochure including above map €1,000 - -

Signage – Roadside (A1 Size) incl installation - €2k to €5k -

Road Signs – Directional Signs LA LA LA

6 Translation & Creative Media

Translation Irish and English (with Measure 4) €1,000 €1,000 €1,000

Video Production (Amateur or Pro) - €2,000 €2,000

German And French - €1,000 €1,000

7 Suggested Visitor and Holiday Itineraries

Days Out - Ideas Free Free Free

3 Day Itinerary – Writing / Packages / Map €1,000 €1,000 €1,000

Holiday Itinerary Ideas and Advice Free Free Free

8 Road Signage and Transport Maps

Transport Maps €350 - -

Road Signage LA LA LA

9 Village Enhancements and Improvements

Other funding sources may be available TBC TBC TBC

10 Google Services

Google MyBusiness and other services Free Free Free

Google Ad Words - - €500

11 Scenic Driving Routes

Signage Audit of Existing Routes LA LA LA

Driving Route Maps (Measure 5) - - -

12 Promotional Material – Design / Print

Flyers – Design only €200 - -

Business Cards and Other €200 €200 €200

Pop Up Displays x 2 €500 - -


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Destination Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

Item Marketing Action Plan and Rough Costings Year 1 Year 2 Year 3

3m Banner Display x 1 €500 - -

Window Stickers €200 - -

13 Website - Typical Fully Responsive Tourism Site - €5,000+ €1,500

Targets/KPI 2,000 users/m 5,000 users/m

14 Infographics €350 - -

Ballingeary Destination Launch - €3,000 -

KPI: Invite key people, media, photographer, printing,

refreshments, room hire and PR campaign

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3

~€20,000 ~€20,000 ~€20,000

OTHER FUTURE MEASURES TO CONSIDER

Email Marketing - Mailchimp Free Free €250

Domestic Trade Promotions

National Ploughing Championship €1,500 €2,000

Over 55 Expo €1,500 €2,000

Wilton/Other Shopping Centre, Cork €1,000 €1,000

Overseas Trade Promotions for consideration

British Tourism and Travel Show €4,000

Milwaukee Irish Fest €6,000

CMT Stuttgart €6,000

German Walking Festival €6,000

Average Printing Costs (Vary with paper cost)

Brochure Map A2 to DL - 20,000 copies €2,500

Brochure Map A2 to DL - 30,000 copies €3,000

Brochure Map A2 to DL - 40,000 copies €3,500

Brochure Map A2 to DL - 50,000 copies €4,000

Brochure Map A3 to DL - 20,000 copies €2,000

Brochure Map A3 to DL - 30,000 copies €2,500

Brochure Map A3 to DL - 40,000 copies €3,000

Brochure Map A3 to DL - 50,000 copies €3,500

Brochure Map A4 to DL - 10,000 copies €1,000

A4 to Z-card Map - 10,000 copies (Credit Card) €2,500

A4 to Z-card - 5,000 copies €2,000

A1 Map Printed and Laminated on Foamex €300

4ft x 4ft Large Map €300

If the Year 1 budget remains at €5000, it is recommended that you progress with elements of the

branding (1) and map design (5) measures as these measures will help create new content and will

allow you to build your online profile and reach in anticipation of additional funding for new projects

such as a Heritage Trail (4) and more.


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7 Implementation

Destination Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

7.1 General

Whether undertaken by the group, an individual or an outside consultancy, it will take a coordinator or

personnel supports dedicated to Ballingeary marketing activities and community tourism coordination to

roll out the Marketing Plan. It will require the following:

• Support and leverage off the existing Tourism Marketing Strategy of County Cork

• Work closely with the Tourism and Heritage Officers of Cork County Council

• Work with key contacts from Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, The Heritage Council and more

• Highlight potential opportunities to coordinate marketing activities of other local tourism groups,

communities and businesses to reduce duplication of efforts and wasted resources

• Work closely with the Rural Development Company and Rural Recreational Officer

• Continue to identify and develop new tourism content

Community Tourism has been in existence for a long time but generally never acknowledged for the

importance and role it plays at grass roots level. This Marketing Plan aims to empower and promote

the unique rich fabric of local rural life and improve the tourism product for Ballingeary.

Businesses and tourism groups will need co-ordinated supports on the ground in terms of training,

marketing and promotional workshops with one-on-one mentoring an essential part of marketing

development in more rural areas.

Communication is vital to ensure the sustainability of Ballingeary and this Marketing Plan in the months

and years ahead to ensure that there is continual momentum and that all involved to stay enthusiastic

and engaged with the progress of the plan. If the people and businesses of the community feel a part of

the Ballingeary Plan, the destination and community will blossom and grow together.

Recommendations:

• That clear channels of communication be established between all the participants

• Regular updates should be shared through various mediums with the wider community. This

will encourage greater support and volunteering from the community

• Continue to build and manage a database including all stakeholders to communicate effectively

and share information

• Seek to continually improved rural broadband and mobile phone coverage across Ballingeary

• Continue to expand current offering of outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, fishing

• Strive to grow local Food Tourism which is high on the Fáilte Ireland/Tourism Ireland agenda

• Continue to promote authentic cultural opportunities through Irish Language & traditional music

• Explore how Ballingeary can improve promotion through the local Tourist Offices


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