Kilkenny is named Ireland’s 2013 tourism town

28 November 2013

Kilkenny has just been crowned the 2013 National Tourism Town at an award ceremony which took place this afternoon. The medieval cultural hotspot was chosen from a shortlist of ten top tourism towns to become this year’s overall winner. Along with received its winning certificate along with a €10,000 grant towards further developing itself as a tourism destination. 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. The award for ‘Best Small Town’ went to Mulranny, County Mayo which is situated along the hugely popular Great Western Greenway. Mulranny received a grant of €5,000 while the other eight short-listed towns received €1,000 grants to accompany their certificates of merit. As well as the certificates and grants, all the shortlisted towns will be able to boost their pitch and use their ‘Tourism Town’ status when marketing themselves. Aside from today’s two top winners, the other commended towns were:

• Cobh, Co. Cork

• Drogheda, Co. Louth

• Ennis, Co. Clare

• Kenmare, Co. Kerry

• Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

• Murrisk, Co. Mayo

• Tralee, Co. Kerry

• Westport, co. Mayo

Each of the eight remaining towns all received certificates of merit to acknowledge their own impressive performances in reaching out to visitors and creating the best possible tourism experiences. With regard to the overall winner, the judges were impressed by: • How Kilkenny has preserved so many of its historical buildings

• It’s impressive regeneration programme

• It’s variety of accommodation offerings

• The great array of local culinary delights available to visitors

• The enthusiasm of the local community who were helpful, informed and friendly

• The hurling experience in Kilkenny

• How the ethos of the Gathering has been fully embraced by the community

Congratulating Kilkenny, Shaun Quinn CEO of Fáilte Ireland said: “I would like to commend everyone in Kilkenny for their involvement in this year’s award. All our top ten towns have shown a high degree of local involvement in – and passion for – tourism. A big focus of both The gathering and the Tourism Town Award is community involvement and, as we are coming to the end of a year when such community tourism has really come to the fore, these finalists are all great role models for the type of local activism which has made The Gathering such a success.” Kilkenny now also boasts an assurance of a warm welcome for visitors through its Visitor Welcome Ambassador Programme, which has been a huge success and the level of engagement by locals, has far exceeded expectations.
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