Revealed: Ireland's top 'foodie destination' for 2017
Foodie Destination Awards 2017
West Cork has been named Ireland's Premier Foodie Destination for 2017.
The region is "setting the benchmark for food tourism in Ireland," according to the Restaurants' Association of Ireland (RAI), which runs the annual Foodie Destinations Award in association with FBD Insurance.
In announcing the award, the RAI cited events and programmes like the annual Taste of West Cork Food Festival and Cork Character Cafes, as well as "the pride and passion that West Cork food producers and retailers have about their locally made products".
Ireland's Top 5 Foodie Destinations (2017)
- West Cork
- Boyne Valley
- West Waterford
Worldwide, food is a growing inspiration for travel, with visitors to Ireland now spending close to €2 billion a year on meals and drinks, according to Fáilte Ireland.
"The excellent collaboration between food provider, chef and food producer with the tourism industry is generating amazing potential for the future development of Ireland as a world-class food destination," said Zach Gallagher of Irish Food Tours.
Zach and Wendy Gallagher were the judges at this year's awards, which also involve an application process, a public vote and regional judging visits.
"As food tourism grows in popularity, it is great to see so many places putting local food at the forefront of the visitor experience," added Adrian Cummins, CEO of the RAI.
The awards highlight regions working together to promote themselves through activities such food festivals, gourmet trails and "great dining experiences".
This year's results were announced at an event in the Headfort Arms Hotel, Kells - in the home of last year’s winners, The Boyne Valley.
Read more:The Irish Foodie Bucket List: 30 dishes worth travelling for