SPEECH BY JARLATH SWEENEY, MANAGING EDITOR AT LAUNCH OF CARAVAN CRUISE IRELAND, WESTPORT HOUSE & COUNTRY PARK
Today’s launch of Caravan Cruise Ireland is a significant development for us at Fleet Publications. It represents a pleasant diversification from what we do every day. Since 2003, we have grown from a single title to now produce 8 different regular publications. While seven of these cater for the transport industry in the main, the arrival of Caravan Cruise Ireland to the family opens up new avenues for us. The idea to create a title for the mobile leisure industry has been rolling around in my head for 2 years or more. As there is no dedicated title for this sector catering for caravans, campervans, motorhomes and river-cruise vessels, Caravan Cruise Ireland addresses this imbalance.
But Caravan Cruise Ireland is only the start of our plans for this growing segment of the tourism business. From our experience of organising the successful annual Fleet Transport Awards, next year will see the creation of Caravan Cruise Ireland Awards where an independent adjudicator process will be established with categories for Caravan & Motorhome facilities, River & Lake Cruise providers, tourist attractions and towing car awards. This will help to raise and maintain standards across the board and we expect close competition as a result.
I would like to take this opportunity to thanks Nora Heraty from the Irish Caravan & Camping Council and Tracey Coughlan from Failte Ireland for their encouragement and support in bringing this idea to fruition. Thanks also to Westport House and Niall Heffernan at the Food Store, Claremorris for providing the venue and catering for today’s launch. The efforts of Cathal Doyle (Editor), Gerry Lane (Advertising Manager) and the Fleet team of Orla, Mary, Denise, Helen and designer Eamon Wynne together with a number of other contributors in bringing this across the line is much appreciated.
Before I hand you over to our special guest Karl Boyle to officially launch Caravan Cruise Ireland, I would like to invite you to take a look at two fine examples of motorhomes here today owned by Richard Sweeney and Gerry Lane, which I know will put you in the mood for a holiday of this type. Remember ‘Staycation’ is the new buzzword! Enjoy!
* STAYCATION – meaning ‘STAY-at-home-vaCATION’