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Loop Head was the winner of the competition in 2013

Clare needs more nominations for Best Place to Holiday

As the closing date for entries for the ‘Best Place to Holiday in Ireland 2022’ approaches, its emerged that Clare has the ninth highest number of nominations so far.

More than 450 people have entered the competition from every county in Ireland and 20 of them have nominated various locations in County Clare. With the closing date of June 7 fast approaching, Cork leads the way on 80, Monaghan lies in second on 60 and Kerry in third on 49.

Waterford is fourth on 38 while Dublin is next on 33 and Donegal has 31. Mayo is next on 27 just ahead of Galway on 26 with Clare and Wexford (10) rounding off the top ten.

The ‘Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’ initiative was launched by The Irish Times in association with Fáilte Ireland as the country gears up for what promises to be the first ‘normal’ summer in three years.

The competition last took place in 2013 with the Loop Head Peninsula in Clare emerging as the eventual winner. The western region was selected not only for its natural beauty and range of amenities, but also for its hard-working hospitality businesses and its vision of a new kind of tourist experience based on community involvement and care for its natural environment. But as the inaugural winner, Loop Head cannot win this time round.

Wherever your favourite holiday destination is on the island of Ireland – be it a town, village, city, island, or distinct region – it has a chance to secure the coveted title of ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’. To be in with a chance to claim the title all you have to do is write a short submission explaining what makes it a special holiday destination.

All the nominated locations will be judged on a range of criteria including natural amenities, built environment, sustainability, tourism services, diversity, the warmth of the welcome, transport links, accommodation supply, cost and of course the X factor.

“Over the last couple of years many of us have been presented with the opportunity to visit and explore places in this country like never before and that’s one of the reasons we’re very excited to be embarking on the search for ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’ 2022” commented Irish Times journalist and chair of the judging panel Conor Goodman.

“Our aim is to discover some great places, explore them, and share them with the world. Our panel of judges and researchers will travel the highways and byways of Ireland looking out for perfect hideaways as well as checking out better-known destinations. We want people in each of the 32 counties – including Clare – to help us identify these special locations as soon as possible – it doesn’t matter whether you live there or are a visitor.”

Emma Woods, Head of Marketing Communications at Fáilte Ireland, commented: “We are pleased to be sponsoring the Irish Times search for ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’. It provides a perfect opportunity to showcase some of the stunning destinations across Ireland and for people here to share their favourite places to holiday at home, hopefully inspiring others to discover new experiences in the months ahead.

“The domestic market will be important to the recovery of the Irish tourism sector this year and this partnership is one aspect of how Fáilte Ireland is focussing on driving demand for short breaks year-round through its Keep Discovering advertising campaign.”

Anyone can enter by writing a short pitch about their favourite place to holiday in Ireland – no longer than 300 words – stating why you think it should win. To nominate go to www.irishtimes.com/bestplace

Joining Conor Goodman on the judging panel will be Nadia El Ferdaoussi, travel blogger; Cillian Murphy, county councillor from Loop Head, the 2013 winner; Trevor White, director of the Little Museum of Dublin; and Rosita Boland, Irish Times journalist.

Over the next three months the judges will shortlist a number of places based on the submissions, visit the frontrunners, before choosing a winner on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

But with the closing on Tuesday June 7, people need to get their entries in fast.

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