Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, has launched the 2019 Irish Tourism Industry Awards. The awards, which take place every two years, are organised by the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC), Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and industry partners.
The Awards celebrate excellence, innovation and success within tourism, Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and one that employs 254,000 around the country. The ceremony event will take place on 1st February 2019 in Dublin. Fifteen awards will be presented on the night and submissions can be made on www.irishtoursimindustryawards.ie. The Awards cover regional tourism experiences, access initiatives, festivals and food tourism innovations, among others.
Minister Griffin said: “Tourism is a key sector for the Irish economy and it is only right and proper that there is a national event to acknowledge and celebrate the best companies, operators and initiatives in this vibrant industry.”
Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, Chief Executive, ITIC, said: “The Awards are organised by the industry with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland and are a flagship event within the tourism calendar. I encourage tourism businesses – big and small – to enter the Awards.”
Paul Kelly, Chief Executive, Fáilte Ireland, welcomed the inclusion of Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, and Dublin as Award categories and anticipated a high level of entries of significant calibre: “Tourism is one of the very few sectors that can penetrate all regions of Ireland and the quality and depth of Ireland’s tourism offering continues to improve and excite.”
A Special Recognition Award will also be presented to Willie Walsh, Chief Executive, IAG, to reflect his contribution to Irish tourism. Eoghan O’Mara Walsh said: “We are delighted to present Willie with a Special Recognition Award – his work as Chief Executive of Aer Lingus, and latterly as Chief Executive of IAG, has been instrumental in delivering positive change to Irish tourism and we look forward to saluting him on the night.”
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland, said: “Overseas tourism is enjoying considerable success at the moment and all markets are performing well. Tourism Ireland is delighted to support the awards once again and we anticipate a great event.”
Industry sponsors of the Awards include Aer Lingus, Irish Ferries, Cork Airport, Shannon Group, the Incoming Tour Operators Association, CIE Tours, Dublin Port, Guinness Storehouse, OPW, Waterford Crystal, Jameson Visitor Centres, Stena Line, and the Irish Hotels Federation.
The Irish Tourism Industry Awards will take place on 1st February 2019 at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin 4, and submissions can be made up to 31st October 2018 on www.irishtourismindustryawards.ie. An independent judging panel selects the winners, who will be announced at the Awards event, which will be hosted by Kathryn Thomas as Master of Ceremonies.