Kilkenny has finished in the top ten of the inaugural Toursim Towns Awards, scooping a certificate of merit and e1,000, but missing out on the overall winner’s spot.
At a ceremony in Dublin, Fáilte Ireland honoured Kilkenny for making the shortlist. The overall prize went to Portmagee in Kerry, which won the title of the first ever National Tourism Town.
At Monday night’s meeting of the borough council, Mayor Sean O’ hArgain said whilst it was disappointing not to win, it was an achievement just to make the shortlist.
“I would like to congratulate a number of people involved, including members of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful and local Failte Ireland representatives, in doing the legwork for this,” he said.
“We had a very fair hearing from the judges, and an excellent submission was prepared for them. In Kilkenny, we don’t take it well when we come second or third or fourth, but it is very positive to have been shortlisted. We are up there with the best.”
The judges praised Kilkenny for its ‘cross-promotion and working together’, for a strong Kilkenny brand, and for efforts to constantly broaden the tourism offering. They highlighted Kilkenny awareness of its target markets compared to the other towns assessed.
“There is something for everyone in Kilkenny...” notes the report.
The Tourism Towns Award was designed by Fáilte Ireland to promote those Irish towns and villages which are working hardest to enhance their appeal to tourists visiting their local area. The nine shortlisted towns received e1,000 grants to accompany their certificates of merit.