Ireland's Top 10 tourism towns announced
Fáílte Ireland has confirmed the shortlist of ten towns from across the country for its 2014 Tourism Towns Award.
Two overall winners will share the ultimate accolade of Ireland’s top Tourism Town – for the Best Large Town and Best Small Town – when the winners are unveiled this November following further assessments from the independent panel of judges.
The shortlisted towns are:
- Ardmore, Waterford [small town]
- Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim [small town]
- Glengarriff, Cork [small town]
- Kinsale, Cork [small town]
- Lismore, Waterford [small town]
- Portmagee, Kerry [small town]
- Killarney, Kerry [large town]
- Cobh, Cork [large town]
- Westport, Mayo [large town]
- Kilkenny, Kilkenny [large town]
You can see the towns by flicking through our gallery, above.
The awards began in 2012, when Portmagee, Co. Kerry was crowned the inaugural winner, with Kilkenny taking the overall 'Tourism Town' award in 2013.
This year, in recognition of the diversity of size and scale of the communities involved, the format of the competition has been changed to include Best Large Town and Best Small Town.
As part of their shortlisting, the selected towns have already been subject to a series of unannounced inspections from a team of independent ‘secret shoppers’ who visited each location and assessed the quality of visitor experience to be had.
The inspections focus on how towns have developed their local area in key areas such as sense of place, tourism experiences, local involvement and the development and promotion of the town.
Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Michael Ring, said:
“This award is all about recognising those Irish towns, villages and communities which are putting their weight behind tourism and working hard to make their town even more attractive for tourists.
“Tourism performance in Ireland has always been underpinned by the friendliness and hospitality of the people and it is truly fitting that we have an award scheme to recognise that vital input. I hope that the towns and villages shortlisted today will be an inspiration for other communities around Ireland”.