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Monday 22 September 2014

'Unattractive' Dublin to get €20m facelift

Cormac Murphy

Published 25/08/2014 | 10:27

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Temple Bar

DUBLIN is "not the most attractive city" for women tourists and Temple Bar is less than an asset, Failte Ireland's new chairman has said.

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Michael Cawley, formerly of Ryanair, made the comment while announcing a €20m fund to clean up the capital's image and design a new logo for the city.

The plan is to come up with a "unified" brand with one message similar to New York's 'I heart NY'.

Despite the difficulties, Dublin got one over its rivals by being chosen along with Killarney in Kerry to host a major corporate event that will earn €9m for the Irish economy, it emerged yesterday.

Nevertheless, Mr Cawley highlighted Dublin's image problems.

Tourist numbers are "flattering to deceive" at the moment and the city is "losing out market share wise to comparative cities like Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Barcelona", he said.

"We need to clean up its image. Temple Bar, long an asset, has become less than an asset, shall we say. I don't want to be overly negative about it, but we need to do better," he added in an interview with the Sunday Business Post.

A taskforce is to be established in the next six weeks to come up with a new logo and brand message for Dublin.

The group will have a continuous mandate to market Dublin, Mr Cawley said. Expenditure over the first three years will be €20m.

"The feedback we're getting is that for women in particular (Dublin) is not the most attractive city in the world," he said.

Speaking about Dublin's brand possibilities, Mr Cawley said: "We have a phenomenal literary heritage with huge possibilities. Sport is another area where we're going to work hard, including getting the Rugby World Cup to come here."

Meanwhile, a new fund established by Failte Ireland to attract more corporate meetings to the country has secured its first win.

A major US insurance company has chosen Ireland as the location for its 2015 sales force meeting. It will see more than 2,000 delegates spend a week here.

The choice of host cities was between Dublin, London and Edinburgh, with two out of the three to be selected.

However, destination management company Odyssey International, working with Failte Ireland, added Killarney as "a wildcard entry" and the decision was made to bring 
the event to Dublin and Killarney.

Failte Ireland's Paul Mockler said: "Corporate meetings are big business for tourism and represent a real opportunity for Ireland to attract more visitors and importantly more revenue."

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