We invited the top 150 Tidy Towns from 2012 to apply for the "Tourism Towns Award 2013".
Now in its second year, the award will continue to focus on how participating towns and villages have developed their local area in the following key tourism areas:
How the town tells its own unique story to visitors, what’s special about it, and what distinguishes it from other towns.
What experiences are available to tourists in and around the town; drawing on the area's assets, products, location and people.
How the local community works together to provide an authentic visitor experience.
How the town takes a unified approach to marketing and developing the location into a "tourism town".
The shortlisted locations will be visited over the autumn months by external assessors who will meet with town representatives to further explore and evaluate each town's commitment to tourism.
The winner for the best small town (population less than 1,000), the best large town (population greater than 1,000), and the overall winner will be announced in November.
The top ten “Highly Commended Tourism Towns” will each receive €1,000. In addition, there will be an award for the best small town (population less than 1,000) and the best large town (population greater than 1,000), and each will receive a prize of €5,000.
Finally, there will be an award for the best overall town which will receive an additional €5,000.