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The top 10 tourism towns in Ireland have been selected, did your town make it?

They were assessed on the quality of the visitor experience they offered.

Image: Cobh, Cork via Shutterstock

THE SHORTLIST FOR the Fáilte Ireland 2014 Tourism Towns Awards were announced this afternoon.

Ten towns across the country were listed - with six counties dominating the list.

Two counties (Kerry and Waterford) have two towns listed each while Cork has three.

The format has changed this year with two overall winners to Ireland’s top Tourism Town –one for the best large town and one for the best small town.

The selected towns have impressed during a series of unannounced inspections from a crack team of independent ‘secret shoppers’ over the past few weeks.

They were assessed on the quality of the visitor experience they offered. The shortlisted towns are:

The top 10 tourism towns in Ireland have been selected, did your town make it?
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  • Ardmore, Waterford (small town)

    Ardmore, Waterford (small town)
  • Cobh, Cork (large town)

  • Glengarriff, Cork (small town)

    Glengarriff, Cork (small town)
  • Kilkenny, Kilkenny (large town)

    Kilkenny, Kilkenny (large town)
  • Killarney, Kerry (large town)

    Killarney, Kerry (large town)
  • Kinsale Harbour, Cork (small town)

    Kinsale Harbour, Cork (small town)
  • Lismore, Waterford (small town)

  • Westport, Mayo (large town)

  • Portmagee, Kerry (small town)

  • Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim (small town)

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 those Irish towns, villages and communities which are putting their weight behind tourism and working hard to make their town even more attractive for tourists.

“Tourism performance in Ireland has always been underpinned by the friendliness and hospitality of the people and it is truly fitting that we have an award scheme to recognise that vital input. I hope that the towns and villages shortlisted today will be an inspiration for other communities around Ireland”.

Winning ingredients 

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.

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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”.

The winners will be announced by Fáilte Ireland in November – following further assessments from the independent panel of judges.

Read: And the tidiest town in Ireland is…>

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