Portmagee has been announced as the first ever winner of Fáilte Ireland’s National Tourism Towns Award.
The County Kerry village was chosen from a shortlist of ten top tourism towns and has received a grant of €10,000 which will go towards developing the town’s tourism potential.
The remaining nine finalists also received certificates of merit and a grant payment of €1,000 to support their tourism development.
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.
This new award was piloted as part of this year’s National Tidy Towns Competition and 46 towns out of the top 100 Tidy Towns in last year’s competition applied to take part in the competition.
Following a shortlisting, the top ten towns were visited by a panel of independent assessors, as well as a team of ‘secret shoppers’, who measured the town’s tourism performance and the level of welcome to visitors.
The winner - Portmagee
The judges found the sense of place in Portmagee to be palpable with its location facing Valentia Island making it unique. Its rich and colourful history is well recognised and the village’s tradition of fishing is evident at every turn. This translates into a seafood ethic which is important and local restaurants provide a superb service in facilitating the needs of visitors seeking good food and drink.
The judges were also struck by the enthusiasm of the local community with a wide array of tourism projects embarked upon by locals. The Portmagee approach is one of hard work and cooperation within all the various sectors in the community and these have resulted in creating a place that is very special to residents and visitors.
The judges also noted the importance of the local Skellig Experience Interpretative Centre as well as the attraction of local wildlife, cliff walks, flora and fauna and landscapes which feature strongly in the visitor experience to be had. Retail outlets offer a wide selection of souvenirs including local craft and the village boasts of its own chocolate factory.
Most of all, the town boasts a great community spirit. The local Community Hall is a vital ingredient in the promotion of tourism and is used extensively all year round to facilitate the expectations of visitors and locals.
Read more about the Tourism Towns Award
Read the full press release
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