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Kilkenny Amongst Ireland's Top Tourism Towns

Date Posted: 10.12.2015

Kilkenny's Impressive Tourism Performance Acknowledged at Fáilte Ireland's Tourism Towns Awards

Fáilte Ireland today (25th November 2015) honoured Kilkenny for their continued impressive performance in reaching out to visitors and creating the best possible tourism experiences at the fourth annual Tourism Towns Awards which took place in The Morrison Hotel, in Dublin. Tralee, Co. Kerry and Lismore, Co. Waterford picked up the highest accolades as they were names Best National Large Tourism Town and best National Small Tourism Town respectively.

This is Kilkenny's fourth consecutive success in the Tourism Towns competition. Kilkenny was crowned the National Tourism Town winner in 2013 and highly commended in 2012 and 2014.

Congratulating Kilkenny on reaching the top ten, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD, said,

"Congratulations to Kilkenny on being named amongst the top ten tourism towns for 2015. These awards are all about honouring the towns that put tourism at the centre of what they do and reaching the top ten is worthy recognition for all that they have done to welcome visitors to their town. The people of Kilkenny truly understand tourism and value their visitors. Ultimately, this shows in the quality of what they have to offer and in the warmth of their welcome."

The Tourism Towns Award was designed by Fáilte Ireland to promote those Irish towns and villages which are working hardest to enhance their appeal to tourists visiting their local area. As the overall winners, Tralee will receive its winning certificate along with a €5,000 grant towards further developing itself as a tourism destination.

In the run-up to today's awards, a team of mystery shoppers visited each town to measure their tourism performance and the level of welcome to visitors. Aside from today's two top winners, eight other high performing towns, including Kilkenny, were commended for their work:

Best Large Towns - Highly Commended

  • Cobh, Co. Cork
  • Killarney, Co Kerry
  • Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny

Best Small Town - Highly Commended

  • Ardmore, Co Waterford
  • Adare, Co Limerick
  • Clonakilty, Co Cork
  • Kenmare, Co Kerry
  • Sneem, Co Kerry

Speaking today Fáilte Ireland's Director of Strategic Development, Orla Carroll, welcomed the announcement of the 2015 winners -

"This awards scheme, now in its fourth year, is not all about recognising those towns that do the best from tourism but rather those that do their best for tourism. Today we celebrate Irish towns and villages that have really embraced tourism and where all sectors - and not just the local tourism interests - have supported the strengthening of their local welcome. All the towns involved in this year's competition have demonstrated what you can achieve when you demonstrate 'pride of place'. Their commitment to their local area not only contributes to the sustained growth of Irish tourism, it is also a central part in the 'tourism towns' spirit which ultimately turns a good holiday into an unforgettable experience."

Among the judges' comments on Kilkenny were -

  • The culture of Kilkenny is evident from the time you arrive in the city.
  • The use of Irish language can be seen on store fronts and add a great sense of place, there is history to be seen around every corner.
  • The local people were very helpful, always willing to take time to point out the best attractions to visit.
  • Junior Volunteers were observed giving a helping hand while the service in cafes and stores was very friendly. Also the tourist train with the friendly guide adds to the tourist experience.

Delighted to accept Kilkenny's certificate of merit was Colin Ahern, Chairman of Kilkenny Tourism said -

"Ensuring that Kilkenny retains its appeal as a premium destination requires team effort and the Tourism Town competition allowed us to showcase the dedication and commitment of our tourism community, particularly Kilkenny Tourism members, who work together tirelessly throughout the year to create and promote diverse and unique visitor experiences through shared offerings. "The endorsement of Kilkenny as a Top 10 Tourism Town finalist is an acknowledgement of our collaboration and achievements. We consider our past and current involvement in Tourism Towns as a significant promotion opportunity, which we include in our online and offline sales, marketing and PR activities, and, as such, we believe it will help us remain at the forefront of tourism destinations in Ireland"


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