Carrick-on-Shannon is on the shortlist of 15 towns and villages from across the country being considered for the 2015 Tourism Towns Awards.
The competition, now in its fourth year, is designed to recognise Irish towns and villages where the local community goes the extra mile to enhance their appeal to tourists.
The 15 towns will now be subject over the next few weeks to a series of unannounced inspections from a team of independent ‘secret shoppers’ who will visit each location and who will look for evidence of a high quality visitor experience and of involvement by the local community and businesses in delivering this experience.
They will look at the quality of its attractions and sites of interest and how well the town promotes what they have to offer.
Westport took home the overall crown for ‘Best Large Town’ award in 2014, with Kinsale picking up the ‘Best Small Town’ accolade.
The shortlist will be whittled down to a final list of ten “Highly Commended Tourism Towns” which will be announced at the National Tidy Towns Awards later this year.
Subsequently, the overall winners for the Best Large and Best Small Tourism Town will be announced by Fáilte Ireland in November.
Speaking about the competition, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring said, “This award is all about recognising those Irish towns and villages which are really doing something special to make Ireland even more attractive for tourists. ”
Paddy Mathews from Fáilte Ireland added, “The Tourism Towns Award seeks to acknowledge not necessarily those towns who do well out of tourism but rather those who do tourism well.”
Lismore, Co. Waterford;
Killarney, Co. Kerry;
Clonakilty, Co. Cork;
Belmullet, Co. Mayo;
Ardmore, Co. Waterford;
Tralee, Co. Kerry;
Adare, Co. Limerick;
Sneem, Co. Kerry;
Kenmare, Co. Kerry;
Portmagee, Co. Kerry;
Cobh, Co. Cork;
Youghal, Co. Cork;
Mountshannon, Co. Clare.