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Winners for Innovation

On Friday night, Westport House was named Best Leisure Tourism Innovation at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2017.

Team members representing Westport House were delighted to receive the award from Minister for Tourism Shane Ross and indeed, were particularly touched to receive the biggest cheer of the night from their 550 tourism colleagues and peers in attendance.

This award is so meaningful in this time of transition. It recognises not just the innovation but the pioneering spirit and hard work of the Browne family in opening up their home to the public 57 years ago. And it is a fantastic start to the bright future of the Hughes family at Westport House.” said Biddy Hughes, Director of Sales & Marketing at Westport House.

Westport House team members accept award for Best Leisure Innovator from Minister Shane Ross and Daragh Hanratty from Cork Airport. Left to right: Ann Marie Kitterick, Margaret Sweeney, Daragh Hanrattty, Eileen Fahy, Minister Shane Ross, Nora Heraty and Biddy Hughes.  Photo courtesy of  Paul Sherwood.

Westport House team members accept award for Best Leisure Innovator from Minister Shane Ross and Daragh Hanratty from Cork Airport.
Left to right: Ann Marie Kitterick, Margaret Sweeney, Daragh Hanrattty, Eileen Fahy, Minister Shane Ross, Nora Heraty and Biddy Hughes. Photo courtesy of Paul Sherwood.

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), the umbrella group for the tourism industry in Ireland, organises the awards in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.  14 awards were given out at a gala event in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road.

The awards are designed to boost visitor numbers and honour the “shining examples of a vibrant industry”, said Minister of Tourism, Shane Ross, who congratulated 14 category winners at the gala event selected from approximately 250 entries.

Irish Tourism Industry Award-winners 2017:

  • Best International Access Initiative: Dublin Airport
  • Best international Marketing Initiative: MCI Dublin for the World Buiatrics Congress
  • Best Leisure Tourism Innovation (city): King John’s Castle, Limerick
  • Best Leisure Tourism Innovation (county): Westport House, Mayo
  • Best Business Tourism Innovation: Green Light Events – Google Sales Conference
  • Best Environmental Tourism Innovation: Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park, Co. Kildare
  • Best Local Authority Tourism innovation: The Lough Derg Marketing Group (a joint initiative of Tipperary, Clare and Galway County Councils)
  • Best Innovative Place to Stay: River Valley Holiday Park, Co. Wicklow
  • Best Festival/Event Experience (over 50,000 people): Bray Air Display
  • Best Festival/Event Experience (under 50,000 people): Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2016
  • Best Adventure Experience: Vagabond Tours of Ireland
  • Best Food & Beverage Experience: Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin
  • Best Cultural Experience (over 100,000 people): GPO Witness History, Dublin
  • Best Cultural Experience (under 100,000 people): Cnoc Suain, Connemara, Co. Galway
  • Special recognition Award: Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme

Westport House would like to thank ITIC and the judges who included Maurice Pratt, Chairman of the Uniphar Group; Noirín Hegarty, Operations Director with Lonely Planet; Philip Browne, Chief Executive of the IRFU; Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, the Irish Exporters’ Association and Marian O’Gorman, Chief Executive, the Kilkenny Group.

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