The Cork County delegation will visit Chicago for the St Patrick's Day festivities and will include representatives of the local authority, hotel, hospitality and tourism sectors.
The delegation is travelling at the invitation of the Cork County Cook County Partnership. Since the establishment of this partnership in 1999, government officials and staff from Cook County and the Cork County Council, along with local volunteer members, have been working as International Trade Partners to develop and strengthen relations between companies, institutions, organizations and individual entrepreneurs in the sectors of Information Technology, Biotechnology, Tourism, Food, and Crafts/Family Business.
The specific focus of the trip this year is to promote Cork as an attractive tourist destination with first class visitor attractions and amenities.
Mayor McGrath will also visit Detroit Michigan and New York City. 2017 represents the 100 year anniversary of Henry Ford bringing car manufacturing to Ireland. The first Ford car plant outside of the US was established in the Ford family's home county of Cork. To mark the celebrations, the Ford family issued the Council with an invite to visit the company's headquarters in Detroit. This will include a showcasing of the plant and its long and proud history.
Cork County Council will also be represented at this year's New York St Patrick's Day parade. This engagement will include the usual diplomatic engagements which serve to strengthen relations between the two cities and continue to ensure that all that Cork has to offer is promoted to a global audience to coincide with our national celebrations.
Chief Executive Cork County Council Tim Lucey will attend some of the key Chicago events. Speaking in advance of the delegation, Mayor McGrath spoke of the importance of initiatives such the Cork County Cook County Partnership, "One of the key creations of this partnership has been the establishment of the Cork Convention Bureau which has generated millions in business tourism. Many Cork businesses have also been introduced to the US Market, a key mission and an ongoing success in this partnership. I am confident that we can also showcase the wealth of opportunities available to our leisure tourist, making Cork County a go to destination."