VETERAN tourism commentator Eoghan Corry has insisted Ireland mishandled the recession just like it mishandled the boom.
“We should have been more outward and more forward looking. We should have been out there looking at how to compete,” he said.
Mr Corry told the Let’s Talk Tourism conference in Killarney that while tourism was performing well, Ireland’s ability to attract visitors from potentially lucrative markets in Germany, France and Italy was “pitiful”.
“North America is saving us. We should concentrate our firepower on the higher hanging fruit, including Germany and Italy,” he said.
The experienced travel commentator also insisted that Ireland needs to be more aggressive in its marketing efforts if potential in terms of visitor numbers is to be achieved.
“We don’t have the pride in the jersey that says tourism matters to us. Let’s get that movement going that says tourism is the most important thing for this country. We are under-performing massively,” he said.
“It’s all about marketing and we should be talking ourselves up and we are in danger of being left behind. We need to attract more people.”