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CIE Tours International’s 24th Annual Awards of Excellence Announced

February 27, 2014 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Dublin Castle was the ideal setting for CIE Tours International’s 24th Annual Awards of Excellence that crowned 80 Irish hotels and visitor attractions with well-deserved recognition.

570301On Tuesday, January 28, Ireland’s Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, presented plaques to the winners – hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions – all of whom received consistent high praise in surveys of 28,000 customers. The awards ceremony marked the end of a phenomenal year for Irish tourism, helped in no small measure by The Gathering, a nationwide effort to bring the Irish diaspora – and anyone else who feels the pull toward this ancient land – back home.

“Overall business was up 20% in 2013,” says Brian Stack, Managing Director of CIE Tours International, giving credit to the efforts of The Gathering, which pulled in an estimated 4,500 additional visitors to CIE Tours. Confidence is booming – and hopes for continued and even increased success in 2014 is on everyone’s radar. The biggest growth in visitors has been from Australia, visits are up 50% from Australia alone in 2013.

570304Ireland has always been an alluring place to visit – and now getting there has never been easier. Increased air access from Australia (via global hubs in the Middle East) has made Irish travel simpler.

Getting people to Ireland is one thing; making sure their visit surpasses expectations and gets great reviews is another – and CIE Tours, one of the largest purchasers of tourism services across the country – has made it a practice to monitor feedback. Says Mr. Stack, “CIE Tours brought 30,000 visitors to the Cliffs of Moher, 17,000 to Bunratty, 20,000 to the Guinness Storehouse and 13,000 to the Titanic exhibition in Belfast.” That kind of volume translates into a great ability to fine-tune the visitor experience so it remains top-notch and a consistent value for the money.

570307Overall Category Winners — Gold Awards
Best 5 star hotel: Killarney Park Hotel, Kerry

Best 4 star hotel: Ashling Hotel, Dublin

Best 3 star hotel: International Hotel Killarney

Best Hotel Accommodation: Conrad Hotel Dublin

Best Hotel Dinner: Cabra Castle Hotel, Cavan

Best Hotel Service and Hospitality: Granville Hotel, Waterford

Best B&B / Farmhouse: Applecroft House, Killarney, Co Kerry

570310Best Event Dinner / Entertainment: The Merry Ploughboy, Dublin

Special Dinner Feature: Killeen House Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry

Best Tour Feature: Brendan Ferris – Sheep Dog Trials

Best Walking tour: Ronan McNamara – Derry Walking Tours

Best Visit: Slieve League Cliffs, Donegal

All CIE Tours’ escorted tours are all-inclusive, encompassing airport transfers; deluxe coach transportation; luxury hotel accommodations, taxes and porterage fees; and all admission fees; as well as most meals, special attractions and evening entertainment. Additionally, CIE Tours’ expert tour directors and local guides help bring each destination to life, providing travellers aged eight and older with authentic travel experiences that continue to resonate long after their return home. For more information about itineraries and travel incentives, or to reserve a tour, call CIE Tours International on local number (02)8005 6802, contact your local travel agent or visit

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