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  • Finalists Announced for EU Competition for Best Tangible Cultural Destination in Ireland

    Finalists Announced for EU Competition for Best Tangible Cultural Destination in Ireland

    Fáilte Ireland today announced the three Irish finalists of this year’s EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) competition to find the destination in Ireland which has best used its local tangible cultural assets to grow visitor numbers. EDEN is an EU project promoting sustainable tourism development across the European Union and is held every two years in 29 member states.  The three Irish finalists this year are the Ceide Coast, Mayo, Scattery Island, Clare and The Norman Way Wexford. The overall winner will be announced at the end of September.

    The theme of the 2017 EU-wide EDEN competition is “Tangible Cultural Tourism” and the three Irish finalists are now preparing for on-site assessments during the week of Monday 4th September when they will be visited by a panel of expert adjudicators.  Tangible cultural assets can include such features as traditional historical or archaeological monuments/sites, industrial sites, museums, theatres, galleries, contemporary architectural sites and modern urban districts of towns.

    The assessment of the finalists will allow each one an opportunity to provide further evidence to show how they are balancing their own tangible cultural assets with the local environment to develop a viable tourism destination.

    Commenting on the competition, Paddy Mathews, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Investment & Innovation, said:

    “We are delighted to announce the three Irish finalists shortlisted in this year’s EDEN competition. Each of these applicants has clearly demonstrated the best examples of how tangible cultural assets have been used to benefit both tourists and local communities.

    “Ireland has long been recognised for the richness of its cultural heritage which is of critical importance to our attractiveness to visitors. We have over 5,000 years of material culture which tells an exciting and engaging story for our visitors. Communities across Ireland are fiercely proud of their heritage and culture and many have harnessed these assets through tourism to deliver real social and economic benefits for their local areas.”

    The 2017 winning destination will receive marketing assistance in the form of a dedicated photo shoot of the destination – as well as a certificate of achievement. Also, the EU will profile the winning destination from each Member State on and will offer each winning destination, participation in the EU EDEN network.

    Commenting on being shortlisted, Ian Lynch, Scattery Island Heritage and Development Group said:

    "We are delighted to be selected for this year’s EDEN Award short list. While it may be a surprise to many, locally we have long since recognized the unique and magical experience of Scattery Island. The Scattery Island Heritage and Development Group have worked hard over the last number of years with our partners in the OPW, Clare County Council and wider community groups to ensure development of the island has taken place in line with best practice given its unique place in our local culture and its unparalleled built heritage spanning 1400 years."

    Also commenting on Ceide Coast Mayo getting short listed, Anne-Marie Flynn, Mayo North Promotions Office, said:

    “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for the 2017 EDEN Award. The Ceide Coast from Ballina to Belderrig tells a story of 6,000 years of history, tangible throughout our breathtaking landscape. Uncovering North Mayo’s heritage and bringing it to life forms a strong part of our visitor experience, and we are really excited about sharing our story and showcasing our beautiful area to the judges in early September.”

    Delighted to hear The Norman Way was shortlisted, Tom Enright, CEO at Wexford County Council said:

    “We in Wexford County Council and all associated with the project are absolutely delighted that The Norman Way has been judged to rank amongst the top three entries in this prestigious competition. The Norman Way has a wonderful story to tell, is real and authentic and brings renewed life and vitality to so many towns and villages along the route.”

    EDEN is an EU project promoting sustainable tourism development across the European Union and is currently held every two years in 29 member states.  Previous Irish winners include the Burren Food Trail (Tourism & Local Gastronomy), the Great Western Greenway (Tourism & the Regeneration of Physical Sites) and Loop Head (Aquatic Tourism). 

    For further information please contact:

    Alex Connolly – Head of Communications
    086 7966320 / 01 8847884

    Catherine Whelan 
    Fáilte Ireland Press Office - 087 6449572/01 8847181

    Note for Editor

    Fáilte Ireland

    Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, was established in 2003 to guide and promote tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy.

    The tourism and hospitality industry employs an estimated 205,000 people and generates almost €6 billion in revenue a year.

    Further information on EDEN competition:

    The aim of the EDEN project is to draw attention to the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European tourist destinations and to promote destinations where economic growth is pursued in such a way as to ensure the social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism. 

    Eligible destinations will be those where the visitor density is low; where the tourism product has been developed using local and regional cultural assets while protecting the environment and meeting the needs of visitors and local residents; and where the tourism offer is managed in such a way as to ensure its social, cultural and environmental sustainability.

    Fáilte Ireland has appointed a panel of adjudicators to select the top destinations and the overall winner.  The evaluation process will short-list the top three applications for on-site assessments during the week beginning 4th September 2017.  This assessment will allow each shortlisted applicant an opportunity to provide further evidence of their Tangible Cultural Tourism destination of excellence.

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