This is a thumbs up for Cavan from An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Jack Keyes, County Manager, as they launch the "This Is Cavan" booklet last week. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
A major operation to re-brand the county and build on the positivity and tourist potential developed particularly during the All-Ireland Fleadh has been officially unveiled by Cavan County Council.
With the slogan 'This is Cavan', County Manager Jack Keyes says the revamp is part of an overall change in how the county promotes itself to visitors, both nationally and internationally.
"The change in the overall branding of the county has been happening in an incremental way up until now," County Manager Jack Keyes told The Anglo-Celt, "but the launch of the brochure and the unveiling of 'This is Cavan' is something physical we can give to people, say to them this is our county, this is what we have, now come and experience it with us."
Unveiled at the 2012 Cavan Business and Tourism Awards on last Thursday night, Mr Keyes explained the concept has already garnered high praise from some very high profile people.
"The Taoiseach was introduced to the branding and was very impressed. He was hugely taken by it, saying it was very unique and commended the county for what it had achieved in hosting the Fleadh and he congratulated us on what we are now doing to build on that now," Mr Keyes told the Celt.
However, he says not only a change of image, but a significant change in culture is needed if the re-branding is to succeed, and that he hoped Cavan natives would soon get behind the new marketing strategy in helping promote the county themselves. The council have already approached Bord Fáilte about carrying the brand, while there is further interest already from as far afield as the US.
"It's not just that Cavan strives to be a good county, but that Cavan is at the top and is considered as such. We need to be confident about it, confident about ourselves and what we have here. To say 'This is Cavan' is in itself a confident statement, a clear mark of intent that the county be seen in a positive light."
Council commissioned research carried out over the Fleadh, when the county welcomed close to 300,000 people during its ten days of festivities showed that there was a gap in people's perception of the county, that they are aware it's here, but are unsure what awaits them.
"It's one thing to say Cavan is a visitors' destination, but actually getting people here is another thing. In other words, what we've found is when we get people here they find it's a great place.
"We want to show how we're different. We've looked at how other counties promote themselves and we think this gives the county a real visual identity, and in two, maybe three years people will be subconsciously aware of it," he said. The next step Mr Keyes says is to not just focus on the county's tourist potential but also tap into its potential for business and enterprise developing here.
"It's a two pronged strategy. The end result is to promote the many different aspects of the county to people, whether living and working here, visiting or even coming to work here, we want not just people, but also businesses to know what Cavan is all about and what, as a county, we have to offer."
For further details see www.thisiscavan.ie