Tralee in Co. Kerry and Lismore in Co. Waterford have scooped Fáilte Ireland's National Tourism Town Awards, winning the best large tourism town and best small tourism town, respectively.
The two towns were chosen from a shortlist of ten, winning based on their efforts in improving the town's tourism experiences and their efforts in reaching out to visitors.
The shortlist was dominated by Munster towns, with Kilkenny being the only town from outside the province represented. The full shortlist was as follows:
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
Best Small Town
Adare, Co. Limerick
Ardmore, Co. Waterford
Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Kenmare, Co. Kerry
Lismore, Co. Waterford
Sneem, Co. Kerry
Best Large Town
Cobh, Co. Cork
Killarney, Co. Kerry
Tralee, Co. Kerry
The winners were decided by a team of mystery shoppers, who visited each town to measure their tourism performance and the level of welcome to visitors.
Speaking at the awards at the Morrison Hotel in Dublin, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said: "These awards are all about honouring the towns that put tourism at the centre of what they do and both winners really impressed, with their local communities pulling together for the greater good of their town.
"The people of Tralee and Lismore truly understand tourism and value their visitors. Ultimately, this shows in the quality of what they have to offer and in the warmth of their welcome.”
As the overall winners, Tralee and Lismore received its winning certificate along with a €5,000 grant each towards further developing itself as a tourism destination.