Clonmacnoise won a Visit Merit Award at the prestigious CIE Tours International Awards of Excellence earlier this week. Receiving a ‘merit’ award means the West Offaly tourist attraction scored over 90% on client feedback.
This is the 22nd year of the annual CIE Tours International Awards of Excellence, which celebrate excellence in Irish tourism. 62 hotels, B&Bs, entertainment venues and tourist destinations received awards across twelve categories ranging from Best Hotel Dinner and Accommodation to Best Tour Feature. Award winners are chosen by CIE Tours International customers who provide feedback on their stay.
Clonmacnoise won a Visit Merit Award, which was collected by Noelle Henry of the OPW. Speaking at the awards reception, Minister Varadkar said: “There is no more powerful form of advertising than word of mouth. The experiences and stories that visitors take back home with them encourage others to follow in their footsteps. That is why I am so pleased that CIE Tours is recognising the attractions, tour guides, entertainers, and accommodation providers who put in that special extra effort to make tourists feel welcome.”
Brian Stack, Managing Director of CIE Tours International, said: “Since CIE Tours International was established 80 years ago, we have brought around three million visitors to Ireland. In the early days, the tours catered for the domestic market, expanding to the UK in the 1940s and the US in the 1960s.
“The routes and sightseeing highlights were much the same as those we offer today. For the 2012 season, CIE Tours is providing 39 tour options from guided coach tours to self-drive or chauffeur-driven cars.
“Our focus is top quality service and these awards pay tribute to the hard work of those working in the tourism sector. This year, over 22,000 of our customers who travelled around Ireland with CIE Tours gave their views on accommodation, dining and tourist attractions choosing these winners from over 400 suppliers.
“We closely monitor all feedback to ensure our customers enjoy their visit and feel that we have provided value-for-money. This is a critical part of our quality assurance programme and enables us to provide valuable insight to our suppliers.
“Building on a strong performance of 300,000 bed nights in 2011, I’m pleased to say that business is up 10 per cent this year. While we operate in a competitive and sensitive sector, we work closely with our supplier to provide all-inclusive packages that are hard-to-beat. Thanks to this value-for-money, over 30% of our bookings are from referrals.
The winners of the Awards of Excellence are chosen from an independent evaluation of feedback surveys completed by over 22,000 CIE Tours International customers.