Kerry County Council Tops in Tourism

Tourism Awards

‌L to R Lisa Geaney, Bryan Carr, Joan Mc Carthy, Kieran Rutledge, Moira Murrell, Padraig Hanrahan, Mary Rose Stafford, John Griffin

The Minister of for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD presented specially commissioned trophies to Kerry County Council for "Best Local Authority Tourism Innovation" and to Kerry Convention Bureau for "Best Business Tourism Innovation" at the first ever Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2015, held in Dublin on Friday 29th April. Designed with the intention of rewarding innovation in tourism, significant initiatives at home and overseas and the best examples of improvement to the tourism experience, the Irish Tourism Industry Awards ultimately identified Kerry County Council and The Adventure Travel World Summit 2014 - Kerry Convention Bureau as worthy winners from a very strong field of over 330 entries.
The awards are organised by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) and are intended to recognise those who make a significant contribution to the tourist industry in Ireland. Adjudication was carried out by an independent panel of experts chaired by Maurice Pratt, the Chairman of the Uniphar Group.

The award was presented to the Local Authority that demonstrated excellence in tourism planning and execution, the provision of tourism facilities and services, marketing, event development and management – including cross county border initiatives and festivals, and the overall contribution made to the local tourism industry. Kerry County Council, working with Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, has been a major driver of the highly successful tourism industry, the county's main driver of growth and its largest sectoral employer. It has been involved in planning environmental protection, provision of tourism facilities and services, marketing, event development and management. County Kerry consistently out-performs all other counties, outside of Dublin, in terms of the holiday /leisure market segment. It has retained its competitive advantage by delivering on its promise to visitors of giving them a superb holiday experience. In October 2014 more than 700 visitors from 31 countries descended on Killarney for the World Summit of the global organisation for adventure and activity tourism. It was a hugely successful, complex event requiring management of groups of delegates, buyers and media running into multi-layered conferences with plenaries, marketplace, media connect and various workshops. It also involved 21 pre-summit adventures and 31 days of adventure as well as a world-class social programme. Kerry, the adjudicators said, excelled across all category headings and demonstrated how it remains Ireland’s top performing regional destination.
Accepting the award, Kerry County Council’s Chief Executive Moira Murrell said that past performance was no guarantee of future success and the Council continues to prioritise tourism in all aspects of its economic and development planning and service provision.
“Investment in tourism is viewed by the Council as an investment in Kerry’s future, where up to one-in-four jobs are supported by tourism “ she said. “We work closely with state agencies, chambers of tourism, product providers and local communities to ensure that those natural attributes, such as its spectacular coastline, mountains, woodlands, islands, lakes and beaches, that make Kerry special, are preserved and the modern facilities required by international visitors are provided.”
Ms. Murrell paid tribute to all those working in the Kerry Tourism Industry who have continued to keep Kerry ahead in what is a very competitive and challenging domestic and international market. “The Council takes a pro-active role in relation to tourism and has invested hugely in the product,” she continued, “ but this award is also for our partners in tourism, from all parts of the County, from Derrynane to Dingle from Ballybunion to Killarney. This is also a recognition of their hard work”.
Kerry County Council operates top class visitor facilities in Tralee and Killarney and provides financial supports to over 50 national, regional and local events and festivals. It has established a dedicated Tourism and Infrastructure Unit to focus on tourism development and support those involved in the Kerry tourism industry. It formed the Destination Kerry Tourism Forum which includes private and public stakeholders to advise the Council in relation to tourism and is currently developing a new Tourism Strategy that will provide a vision and action plan for Kerry Tourism up to 2020. Mayor of Kerry, Cllr. John Brassil congratulated the Chief Executive and the staff of the Tourism Unit along with the members of the Destination Kerry Forum and the local communities, who work tirelessly to make Kerry the number one tourism County in Ireland. He stated “This award is testament to the hard work of many people over the years and to the significant financial investment of the Local Authority’.

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

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