Top marks for a friendly city

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It might not come as a surprise to many people, but now it has officially been confirmed: Kilkenny is one of the friendliest cities in the world.

It might not come as a surprise to many people, but now it has officially been confirmed: Kilkenny is one of the friendliest cities in the world.

Travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler this week unveiled the results of its readers’ choice survey of the world’s friendliest cities, and only one Irish city – Kilkenny – made it into the top ten. Readers voted Kilkenny the ninth-friendliest city in the world, while Dublin came in at number 12 and Cork at number 20.

The news has been warmly greeted by chairman of Kilkenny Tourism, Colin Ahern, who said the accolade was no accident.

“Kilkenny recently launched a ‘Visitor Welcome Ambassador’ programme to ensure tourists who visit our city have a warm céad míle fáilte and a great experience,” he said.

“Supported by business and tourism interests including Kilkenny Tourism, Fáilte Ireland and Kilkenny Borough Council, we have just completed workshops for local citizens, business teams and public service staff, giving guidance in how to engage with visitors, offering advice on things to see and do and making personal recommendations about the many hidden gem experiences that make Kilkenny unique as a destination.”

Over the last year Kilkenny Tourism has undertaken significant national and international marketing, including a rebranding, a sales mission to the UK, a presence at numerous shows and a new visitor guide. Visitor numbers are slowly returning to growth with most recent figures showing that international visitors to Kilkenny rose from 206,000 in 2010 to 219,000 last year.