Ireland named ‘best destination in Europe’ by US travel publication

It’s the third year in a row Ireland has picked up the award from Travel Weekly.


TOURISM CHIEFS ARE hailing another accolade from US travel sector ‘bible’ Travel Weekly, after Ireland was named as Europe’s ‘best destination’ by the publication.
It’s the third year in a row Ireland has picked up the award.
“We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for this award in the United States,” Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said in a statement.

« Travellers nowadays have tremendous choice, which makes it more important than ever for us to ensure the island of Ireland stands out from other destinations. »

Figures released at the end of last month showed more tourists had visited Ireland in 2016 than ever before. The CSO stats showed an 11.6% increase in overseas visits to the country between January and October.

Despite the fact that the country is now on course for nine million tourists this year, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO Shaun Quinn urged caution and warned against complacency in the sector.

He said:
« However, unexpected events during the year – such as Brexit – serve as a warning that we can take nothing in life for granted and are a good antidote to any creeping complacency in the tourism sector. »

Gibbons said in his statement today that by the year’s end “we will have welcomed about 1.6 million American and Canadian visitors, delivering revenue of €1.4 billion for the economy throughout 2016 ».

Travel Weekly is the leading weekly paper for American travel agents, and some 15,000 of its readers voted in the various categories earlier this year.

In case you were wondering, the ‘best destination’ for Africa this year was South Africa, the best US state was Hawaii and the favourite destination for the Asia/Pacific region was Australia.



Titanic Belfast named King of the World!

Titanic Belfast have just been crowned the ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards in the Maldives!


Having already beaten the Colosseum, the Acropolis and the Eiffel Tower to become Europe’s official Leading Tourist Attraction, we’ve now sailed our way to victory, becoming the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction!! With over 1 million votes cast from over 216 countries in the awards, known as the ‘Tourism Oscars’, Titanic Belfast was awarded the title this afternoon, after beating off stiff competition from eight global finalists – including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the Las Vegas Strip, USA, Machu Picchu, Peru and Guinness Storehouse, Ireland. It is the first time an attraction from Ireland, North or South, has won the prestigious accolade. Tim Husbands MBE, our Chief Executive, said; “Over the past few years, we have continued to go from strength to strength but to be voted the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction by both the industry and the public for excellence and for our original product, is really the jewel in our crown. We are delighted that this award firmly shines a spotlight not only on Titanic Belfast but Belfast and Northern Ireland, and celebrates our authentic insight and connection to RMS Titanic. “The Titanic story captures hearts and minds throughout the world and at Titanic Belfast, this is no exception. Our interpretation of the story and ability to engage with visitors on many different levels has been fundamental in winning this award. With the award, we hope to attract more tourists to Northern Ireland to discover it. A huge thank you to our staff and all our supporters that voted, locally and across the world, to help us reach this iconic goal of being the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction.” –

See more at:!.aspx?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Link&utm_content=WTA2016&utm_campaign=Content+Marketing&utm_source=Titanic+Belfast+Customers&utm_campaign=5011521d8e-WTA_Final_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ef62fde800-5011521d8e-294256529

Jameson Experience recognised for contribution to Irish tourism

The Jameson Experience Midleton has won the ‘Ultimate Ambassador Award’ at the second annual #CorkNeedsYou Cork Conference Ambassadors Awards.



Dublin Has Officially Been Named ‘Favourite Worldwide City’ By International Travellers

Dublin has been officially named ‘Favourite Worldwide City’ at this year’s Trazee Awards.


Having taken place in Orlando, Florida, the award ceremony confirmed that Ireland’s capital city is a hit among international travellers between 18 and 35 years of age.

The award, which celebrates the very best of the travel industry, came from; an online travel publication, who collected nominations from their readers and online contributors. Other Trazee categories included ‘Favourite Airline In Europe,’ ‘Favourite Overall Airport In The World’ and ‘Favourite Individual Hotel.’

Orla Carroll, Director of Dublin, Fáilte Ireland had this to say about the award.

This award is a fantastic accolade for Dublin which proves that our capital has something unique and extraordinary to offer the young and discerning traveller. Fáilte Ireland and the Dublin Tourism Industry have been working hard to reposition Dublin as a destination that offers unforgettable experiences to the young adventurous traveller. This award, which is voted for by the visitors we are trying to reach, prove that our efforts are paying off. More than that, it is a real testament to the variety and quality of experiences Dublin has to offer visitors of all ages.

Orla Carroll, Director of Dublin, Fáilte Ireland is an online travel publication aimed at travellers aged 18-35.



Four Irish hotels named among Europe’s Top 10 resorts

Last Week the country featured on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 to visit in 2015.

Now comes the news that readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine have named four Irish hotels among their Top 10 European Resorts.

Sheen Falls Lodge tops the list at No.1, with Ashford Castle ranked second, the K Club fourth and Adare Manor rounding off the Irish showing in tenth place.

The Top 10 Resorts in Europe is as follows:

Sheen Falls Lodge, Co. Kerry
Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo
Blue Palace Resort, Crete
Kildare Hotel at the K Club, Co. Kildare
The Gleneagles hotel, Scotland
Badrutt’s Palace, Switzerland
Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Switzerland
Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy
Old Course Hotel, Scotland
Adare Manor, Co. Limerick
Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards are published annually, and this year featured over one million votes from almost 77,000 readers. Several lists of best cities, islands, hotels, resorts and cruise lines are drawn up from the results.

Sheen Falls Lodge, which overlooks the picturesque Sheen Waterfalls, also ranks 82nd on the global list of Top 100 Hotels & Resorts.

“We are extremely honoured to be named the number one resort in Europe and to be one of four hotels from the UK and Ireland in the Top 100 hotels and resorts in the world,” said Patrick Hanley, General Manager, Sheen Falls Lodge.

“A special thank you must be extended to the team here who dedicate themselves and make an exceptional effort to ensure all guests have a pleasant and memorable stay.”

The Kenmare five-star is commended by readers for its “first-class service” and “very pretty views”, according to the magazine. Its “very high-quality design” also merits a mention.

The Cong, Co. Mayo five-star has “beautiful grounds, fantastic recreational activities” and “outstanding service”, according to readers.

Formerly the Guinness family home, the hotel’s guest rooms come with high ceilings and four-poster beds, the magazine points out, “though they can be tired looking.”

The five-star is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment programme.

Connemara’s Ballynahinch Castle also features, ranking 23rd of 25 Top Hotels in Europe.

“The setting is something out of a fairy-tale book – lush greenery, lake, silence,” readers report. “It’s just gorgeous, like a rich uncle’s country estate.”

The Condé Nast citations cap an extraordinary run of international recognition for Irish destinations and hotels overseas. In addition to Lonely Planet’s Top 10, Enniskillen’s Lough Erne resort recently topped the Huffington Post’s “Best Hotels for Winter 2014/15” round-up.

The full list of Readers’ Choice Awards winners can be accessed here.


Giant’s Causeway News


Giant’s Causeway in Ireland establishes itself on the global tourism list for travelers

For twelve consecutive years, the Skal International “Sustainable Development in Tourism” Awards have been presented during the Opening Ceremony of its annual World Congress. Skal recently closed its 74th World Congress aboard the Carnival Glory, the first time this yearly event took place on a cruise ship. This year, the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland won an award in the category of Major Tourist Attractions.

For centuries, people have flocked to the world famous Giant’s Causeway on the north coast of Northern Ireland. It is a geological wonder which has now become firmly established on the global tour list for travelers. With over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, it is the result of intense volcanic and geological activity and forms a dramatic landscape filled with myths and legends.

After the previous visitor centre was destroyed by fire a new world class visitor centre was needed for Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site. An international design competition was won by renowned architects, Heneghan Peng and Event was commissioned to design the displays and interpretation for the site.

The new Visitor Centre is an essential gateway to the wider World Heritage Site. It explains how the Giant’s Causeway was formed and highlights the essential conservation work of the National Trust. Visitors gain a deeper insight into the myths and legends of bygone days and discover the stories of the people who live in and around the Causeway today. There is also the chance to connect with and learn more about the local people for whom the Causeway Coast provides an important livelihood.

The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre opened to the public July 3, 2012 and since then, has gone from strength to strength – welcoming more than 780,000 visitors in its first year of operation.

The new centre has picked up a host of awards after a successful first year including:

• Five Star Visitor Attraction Rating from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board
• Sustainable Project of the Year 2012 by Sustainable Ireland
• Go Awards 2012 Visitor Attraction of the Year
• NI Travel and Tourism Awards – Best NI Visitor Attraction 2012
• NITB NI Tourism Awards – Visitor Inspired Award 2012
• Sandford Education Award 2012

It has also been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building.

For more information, go to

Shortlist for Ireland’s ‘Tourism Town’ 2013 announced

Tourism-Towns Logo

Fáilte Ireland today confirmed the shortlist of ten top towns from across the country selected for their 2013 Tourism Towns Award. The shortlist was announced at the National Tidy Towns Awards in The Helix, Dublin. Ireland’s Top Tourism Town in 2013 will now be selected from this shortlist and announced this November.

The shortlisted towns are:

• Cobh, Co. Cork

• Drogheda, Co. Louth

• Ennis, Co. Clare

• Kenmare, Co. Kerry

• Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

• Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

• Mulranny, Co. Mayo

• Murrisk, Co. Mayo

• Tralee, Co. Kerry

• Westport, Co. Mayo

The ten commended towns will now be visited in the autumn by external assessors who will meet with town representatives to further explore and evaluate the town’s commitment to tourism.

Welcoming the shortlist, Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring emphasised the important premise behind the award scheme –

“This award is all about recognising Irish towns and villages which are working hard to make Ireland even more attractive for tourists. This important work brings benefits to local communities and local economies across Ireland. The scheme is now in its second year and is going from strength to strength.

“I hope that the towns and villages selected today will inspire other communities around Ireland to take similar steps. Last year Portmagee in Co. Kerry won the first ever award, and I’m looking forward to finding out who the 2013 overall winner is later in the year.”

The Tourism Towns Award has been designed to promote those Irish towns and villages which are working hard to enhance their appeal to tourists visiting their local area. In an addition to last year’s format, the 2013 competition will award a Best Small Town and Best Large Town, each receiving €5,000. Then the Best Overall Town will be crowned receiving an additional €5,000 prize. The ten Highly Commended Towns will each receive €1,000.

Speaking today Beverley Sherwood from Fáilte Ireland, highlighted the characteristics of a tourism town and looked forward to an eventual winner being announced later this year –

“While first impressions do count, a good ‘Tourism Town’ is not only a tidy town but also goes that extra mile. The difference lies in the role that communities play in preserving their authenticity while welcoming their visitors and telling the story of the local area.”

“An ultimate winner will be announced in November but, in the meantime, we will be scrutinising all ten shortlisted finalists to see what they have to offer and to discover which one of them has what it takes to become Ireland’s 2013 Tourism Town winner.”

The Tourism Town award focuses on how participating towns have developed their local area in the following key tourism areas:

• Sense of place – How the town tells its own unique story to visitors, what’s special about it, and what distinguishes it from other towns.

• Tourism experiences – What the town has to offer visitors.

• Local involvement in developing tourism- How the local community works together to provide an authentic visitor experience.

• Development and promotion of the town – How the town takes a unified approach to marketing and developing the town into a “tourism town”.


2012 was the first year of the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Town Award and saw Portmagee in County Kerry crowned the inaugural winner.

– See more at:’s-Overall-‘Tourism-Town’-201.aspx