The Burren. Pic Ann O'Connell Images
The Burren. Pic Ann O’Connell Images

Eight different Clare attractions, businesses and organisations have been longlisted in the 2016 Irish Tourism Awards.

Selected on the initial longlist, the eight proposed organisations must fill out detailed questionnaires before the shortlist is revealed in September. Award winners will be announced in October. The awards are part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards family which are the most rigorously judged responsible tourism awards in the world. Forty six different Irish establishments have been nominated in six different categories.

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark will compete for the title of Best Destination. The Cliffs of Moher is in the running as Best for Accessible/Inclusive Tourism. Four different Clare organisations have been nominated in the Best for Natural Heritage Tourism category namely, Doolin Cave, Burrenbeo Trust, Burren Nature Sanctuary and those involved in the Heritage Officers Project from Clare County Council.

After winning the title of Best Accommodation for Local Sourcing, Hotel Doolin will be keen to defend their award. Clare County Council is in contention for Best Local Authority Initiative for Responsible Tourism.

A shortlist will be revealed at the beginning of September after each questionnaire completed by the nominees has been reviewed. The focus of the questionnaire is on demonstrating evidence of positive change, and each awards category has a specifically designed questionnaire designed by industry & academic experts in responsible tourism.

Members of this year’s judging panel include; Assistant General in the Department of Tourism, Transport and Sport Ken Spratt, Tourism Ireland’s Central Marketing Director Mark Henry, DIT Tourism Lecturer Dr. Kevin Griffin, Cyril McAree Managing Director of Hotel & Restaurant Times, travel-writer Catherine Mack, Paddy Matthews Head of Investment & Innovation at Fáilte Ireland and Dr Harold Goodwin Chair of the World Responsible Tourism Awards.