‘CRACK TEAMS’ OF secret shoppers will be swooping on towns around the country in a covert mission to determine the winners of the 2014 Tourism Towns Awards.
Fáilte Ireland inspectors posing as tourists will visit the towns in the coming weeks, with the winners being announced in November.
The list of towns has already been cut to 10 small towns and five large towns. The small town category is any town under 5000 people and the large town category is for any town greater than 5001 inhabitants.
The award, run by Fáilte Ireland, is exclusive to participants in the Tidy Towns Award.
Fiona Buckley, spokesperson with Fáilte Ireland said: “You can’t be a good tourism town if you’re dirty. It’s about sense of place and pride… a good tourism town needs to be nicely presented”.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said:
“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.”
What are they looking for?
The secret shoppers will be assessing the towns on a number of criteria:
- Sense of place – what is distinctive about the town
- Local involvement – how involved the community are
- Tourism products available – what the town has to offer visitors
- Promotion of the town – how the town markets itself as a ‘tourism town’
Is your town going to be inspected? Here’s the shortlist:
- Glengarriff, Cork
- Kinsale, Cork
- Rosscarbery, Cork
- Portmagee, Kerry
- Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim
- Blackrock, Louth
- Beal an Mhuirthead, Mayo
- Ardmore, Waterford
- Lismore, Waterford
- Ennis, Clare
- Cobh, Cork
- Killarney, Kerry
- Kilkenny, Kilkenny
- Westport, Mayo
- Trim, Mayo