Fifteen towns and villages from across the country are being considered for the Fáilte Ireland 2014 Tourism Towns Awards and Ennis is in the running in the Large Town Category.
On the shortlist with Ennis are Cobh, Kilkenny, Killarney, Trim and Westport.
The competition, now in its third year, is designed to recognise Irish towns and villages where the local community goes the extra mile to enhance their appeal to tourists. The selected towns will now be subject over the next few weeks to a series of unannounced inspections from a crack team of independent ‘secret shoppers’ who will visit each location and assess the quality of visitor experience to be had.
Kilkenny took home the overall crown in 2013, however 2014 will see a change to the format of the competition with titles awarded to Best Large Town and Best Small Town. The top ten “Highly Commended Tourism Towns” will be announced at the National Tidy Towns Awards later in year with the overall winners, Best Large and Best Small, to be announced by Fáilte Ireland in November.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said, “This award is all about recognising Irish towns and villages which are working hard to make Ireland even more attractive for tourists. This important work brings benefits to local communities and local economies across Ireland. I am looking forward to hearing who has made it into the top ten and the overall winner later in the year.”