After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, senior representatives of Ireland’s tourism sector came together to celebrate the diversity and richness of experiences offered by Irish tourism at the CIE Tours annual Awards of Excellence.
Launched in 1990, the awards recognize Ireland’s hospitality ambassadors – the people and businesses throughout the country who put Irish tourism on the global stage through the warmth of welcome and quality of service provided to our international visitors.
CIE Tours, which celebrates 91 years in business is the largest operator of guided tours to Ireland in the North American market, bringing over 25,000 visitors here last year.
Westport Walking Tour was awarded a prestigious Gold Award for the Best Walking Tour in Ireland.
Ballintubber Abbey and Killary Harbour Cruise were also recognized with merit awards in the Visitor Attraction category.
Speaking at the presentation of CIE Tours’ annual awards of excellence, Elizabeth Crabill, CEO said: “The Irish holiday experience is unique, and its popularity is very evident in the strong rebound we witnessed once international travel re-opened following the pandemic.
“I want to acknowledge the resilience of our tourism partners who, having had a tough few years, enthusiastically welcomed back our visitors once restrictions were lifted.
“We are very encouraged by the pipeline of bookings for the coming year, which is ahead of expectations, and we look forward to ensuring that our partners and our host communities continue to benefit from our success in attracting visitors to travel with us to Ireland
“Our itineraries visit many rural areas of Ireland and over many years we have helped local tourism operators to survive and thrive, creating valuable local employment.
“With our experience and knowledge, we can be a strong partner in Fáilte Ireland in achieving its ambition to develop Ireland as a high-quality tourism destination that facilitates a healthy and sustainable industry, while having positive impacts on host communities, and contributing to the preservation and enhancement of the environment,” she said.