Irish tourism agency Fáilte Ireland has announced ambitious plans to redevelop Cork Harbour as a world-class tourist destination. 

The plan, which has been developed in partnership with Cork City Council, Cork County Council, and the Port of Cork, will identify opportunities to enhance Cork's tourism offering and create a focal point for Cork's maritime story. 

The plan aims to improve accessibility, capacity, visitor facilities, and visitor flow at Cork Harbour in addition to improving visitor experiences. 

It will also include a review of visitor orientation in the Cork Harbour area with recommendations to improve public transport, explore sustainable transport initiatives, and encourage a greater spread of visitors throughout the area. 

The plan is a key element of Fáilte Ireland's five-year Destination and Experience Development Plan (DEDP) for Cork City, Harbour and East Cork and aims to position Cork Harbour as a world-class tourism destination. 

Fáilte Ireland states that Cork Harbour is currently underutilized despite being the largest natural harbor in the Northern Hemisphere. It says there is an opportunity to boost visitor numbers at Cork Harbour by building on the unique Cork Harbour Islands. 

The tourism agency also plans to build on the existing greenways, blueways, and transport links in Cork to improve accessibility at Cork Harbour. It also aims to improve land and sea linkages between Cork City and Cork Harbour. 

Brian O’Flynn, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland, said the plan can help unlock Cork Harbour's "huge potential". 

"The plan will be key in enhancing the unique tourism offering in Cork harbour to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more which will bring significant benefits for the local economy and community and the wider region," O'Flynn said in a statement.

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"Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Cork City and County Councils, and the Port of Cork, aims to develop and deliver this ambitious plan to position Cork Harbour as a must-visit destination within Ireland’s Ancient East." 

Cllr. Frank O'Flynn, Mayor of the County Cork, said Cork Harbour has "immense untapped potential", describing it as an area of exceptional beauty. 

"The scope of this plan will identify opportunities to ensure that this area becomes a world-class visitor destination encouraging visitors to stay a little longer ultimately resulting in increased economic benefits to Cork Harbour and the wider East Cork area," he said in a statement.