Tuesday 17 September 2019

Brochures boost for Hook tourism

David Looby

Forty thousands tourism brochures about attractions, places to stay and restaurants within south west Wexford have been printed and will be distributed within the region.

Hook Rural Tourism had the brochures printed in August using FLAG South East funding of over €11,000, along with money from membership dues.

Containing a colourful, easy to read map highlighting free and pay in local attractions, information on wildlife, the areas beaches, local history, festivals and more, the brochure sells the Hook Peninsula as Ireland's stand-out attraction.

CE Scheme Supervisor Hook Tourism, Carmel Prendergast said: 'We are making a play on the peninsula and also on how we have many award winning businesses here including Hook Head Adventures, Aldridge Lodge, Hook Lighthouse, Roche's pub etc. We are also tapping into the heritage of the area with the castle on the cover and our Norman history.'

The brochure has replaced the old Ring of Hook Coastal Drive map. Hook Tourism runs on a CE Scheme, so the people in its two offices work together to enhance the area. 'We have 20 people in Fethard on Sea tourist office and Duncannon tourist office, including gardeners in Colclough Walled Garden, people in Hook Lighthouse and people looking after the beaches and the village environments in Fethard-on-Sea and Ballyhack.'

The Hook Tourism committee decided that new branding was needed to present the area in a new light. 'The lighthouse is one element but there is an awful lot of other things happening in this area that people don't know about. Previously we heard of Hook Peninsula Drive which gave the message that you come and do the drive and you go off somewhere else altogether. We wanted to give the message: "Come here. There's lots to do here. You can spend three days or a week here". We employed a marketing professional to help us come up with our brand offering, Paula Ronan in New Ross.'

On a spend of €13,500 for the brochures, 80 per cent came in FLAG funding. 'On the map all of the sandy beaches are marked. The new bridge is marked in on it and the ferry. There is a legend down the side for the woods, parks etc. The idea is that people take this for their family and they find something to do.'

The map was designed by Karen Nolan Design in Wexford and wildlife expert Liam Ryan contributed a summary of the various wildlife that can be found within the Hook Peninsula. 'We included things to do for free so families know they can come here and they don't need a big wad of money of they are staying in a B&B and eating in the restaurants. It will be in all the local tourism providers.'

BizLocator have 35 locations allocated for spots for Hook Tourism within the south east. Carmel thanked John Hickey of FLAG South East. Hook Tourism charges a membership fee to people who choose to be members. Current membership stands at around €85. For their fee they get included in the brochure. They also get the services of the 20 people on the scheme who are working to keep the area clean and vibrant and the Duncannon office is manned so if someone comes in and is looking for a B&B there is someone there telling them first hand.

It is open from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. seven days a week in the summertime and five days a week in the off season and all of the staff are informed about local attractions and businesses.

New Ross Standard