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Drum roll please: These are the top tourist towns in Ireland

Did your area make the cut?

TRALEE HAS BEEN named Fáilte Ireland’s best large tourism town, while Lismore has taken the accolade of best small tourism town.

medium-TRALEE_GOLF_COURSE_004_14_may_2012_09_14_may_2012_11 Tralee Golf Course Source: Fáilte Ireland

Tralee in Co Kerry and Lismore in Co Waterford were chosen from a shortlist of ten towns, with the remaining towns all receiving certificates of merit – which Fáilte Ireland said was “to acknowledge their own impressive performances in reaching out to visitors and creating the best possible tourism experiences”.

Junior tourism minister Michael Ring announced the winners today, saying both towns “really impressed, with their local communities pulling together for the greater good”.

The people of Tralee and Lismore 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.

As the overall winners, Tralee and Lismore received winning certificates, along with a €5,000 grant each towards further developing the towns as tourism destinations.

Source: FailteIrelandTV/YouTube

Aside from today’s two top winners, eight other towns 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

Source: FailteIrelandTV/YouTube

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.

Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Strategic Development, Orla Carroll, said all of the towns involved in the awards scheme, now in its fourth year, have “demonstrated what you can achieve when you demonstrate pride of place”.

medium-gm_120310-_014 Lismore Castle Source: Fáilte Ireland

Accepting the award on behalf of Tralee, Kieran Ruttledge of the Tralee Chamber Alliance and the local Tidy Towns committee, said:

In Kerry, tourism is everybody’s business and in Tralee almost 1,000 people are now directly employed in tourism related enterprises. Collaboration between the local community, business sector and local authority is the key to success and Tralee is a shining example of this approach.

Mary O’Brien, Secretary of Lismore Tidy Towns, also welcomed the news, stating:

“Lismore has a great sense of community and pride of place amongst the businesses, residents and the many voluntary groups. The people of the town are constantly looking for ways to make the tourism experience as inclusive as possible and to encourage exploration of Lismore town and the general west Waterford area.”

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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