Westport House for Best Leisure Tourism Innovation, Dublin Airport for Best International Access Initiative and the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre for Best Cultural Experience were among 14 category winners selected from 250 entries to the Irish Tourism Industry Awards.
There was also a Special Recognition Award from the Irish Tourism Industry for the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, which the adjudicating panel felt shone a positive spotlight on Ireland to a global audience.
Minister Shane Ross presented Waterford Crystal trophies to winners at a gala event organised by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation the umbrella group for the tourism industry in Ireland in conjunction with Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road.
Adjudication on the awards was carried out by an independent panel of experts, chaired by Maurice Pratt, the Chairman of the Uniphar Group and including Noirin Hegarty, Operations Director from Lonely Planet; Philip Browne, Chief Executive of the IRFU; Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, the Irish Exporters’ Association and Marian O’Gorman, Chief Executive, the Kilkenny Group.
The event brought together 550 people from the industry, which is cvalued at €5bn to the economy.
Minister Shane Ross said: “The range of awards recognises both innovation and excellence and rewards the best operators within Irish tourism. It gives us the opportunity to come together to champion excellence, reward success and inspire others in the tourism industry to follow suit. Congratulations to all winners.”
Minister of State for Tourism Patrick O’Donovan said: “Irish tourism is performing extremely well and it is only fitting that successful initiatives, experiences and innovations within Ireland’s largest indigenous industry should be acknowledged and commended publicly.”
Paul Gallagher, Chairman of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation said: “The Irish Tourism Industry Awards are a celebration of Irish tourism and validate all of the hard work that the industry puts into growing this sector. ITIC believes if pro-tourism policies are adopted and appropriate investment strategies implemented that overseas earnings from inbound tourism can be as high as €7bn annually by 2025 thus adding another 50,000 jobs to the sector”.
- Full details of the awards are available here
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