Kilkenny in the running for top award

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Kilkenny has made the shortlist of ten top towns from across the country selected for their 2013 Tourism Towns Award.

Kilkenny has made the shortlist of ten top towns from across the country selected for their 2013 Tourism Towns Award.

The shortlist was announced on Monday at the National Tidy Towns Awards in The Helix, Dublin. Ireland’s Top Tourism Town in 2013 will now be selected from this shortlist and announced this November.

The shortlisted towns are: Cobh, Co. Cork; Drogheda, Co. Louth; Ennis, Co. Clare; Kenmare, Co. Kerry; Kilkenny; Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Mulranny, Co. Mayo; Murrisk, Co. Mayo; Tralee, Co. Kerry and Westport, Co. Mayo.

The ten commended towns will now be visited in the autumn by external assessors who will meet with town representatives to further explore and evaluate the town’s commitment to tourism.

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 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. The scheme is now in its second year and is going from strength to strength,” he said.

The Tourism Towns Award has been designed to promote those Irish towns and villages which are working hard to enhance their appeal to tourists visiting their local area. In an addition to last year’s format, the 2013 competition will award a Best Small Town and Best Large Town, each receiving €5,000. Then the Best Overall Town will be crowned receiving an additional €5,000 prize. The ten Highly Commended Towns will each receive €1,000.

2012 was the first year of the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Town Award and saw Portmagee in County Kerry crowned the inaugural winner.