The Cliffs of Moher Experience in County Clare has won a Gold Award and the accolade of ‘Best Visit’ in Ireland at the annual CIE Tours International Awards of Excellence.
The awards, which are based on feedback received from customers of CIE Tours International throughout the year, were presented at a ceremony held in the Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin last night.
The annual award scheme acknowledges tourist attractions which achieve a customer satisfaction rating in excess of 90%. The winners are chosen from an independent valuation of feedback surveys completed by over 30,000 CIE Tours International customers.
Meanwhile, 1,136,868 people visited the Cliffs of Moher Experience during 2022. FITs (Fully Independent Travellers) were up by 5% on 2019, the last full year of operation before the pandemic, while the majority (41%) of visitors were from the United States with Republic of Ireland residents making up 29% of the overall visitor number. Other visiting nationalities included the UK (7%), Canada and Germany (both 4%), and Spain, France and Italy (each 3%). Ireland’s most visited natural attraction also recorded a 66% increase in online bookings this year compared to 2019.
Accepting the CIE Tours International Awards of Excellence Gold Award today, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Tony O’Brien said the win is a vote of confidence in the efforts of management and staff at the Cliffs of Moher to continually seek new ways of further enhancing the overall visitor experience at Ireland’s most visited natural attraction.
Bobby Kerr, Chairperson of the Board of the Cliffs of Moher Centre DAC, stated, “To receive such a high approval rating from our customers is an immense source of pride for everybody involved with the development and management of the Cliffs of Moher Experience. This award will undoubtedly help us throughout 2023 as we continue promote the Cliffs to international visitors and the growing domestic market.”
The award success comes follows last month’s news that the Cliffs of Moher Experience was named winner of ‘Ireland’s Best Visitor Attraction’ in The Irish Independent’s annual Reader Travel Awards for 2023. 2022 also saw the Cliffs secure ‘Great Place To Work’ Certification, Clare FM Best Tourist Attraction in ‘Best in Clare’ Awards as voted by Clare people, and Best Use Of Digital Marketing And Social Media at the Clare Chamber Awards.
Reflecting on a positive year, Cliffs of Moher Experience Director Geraldine Enright said, “We are delighted with the impressive number of US visitors to the cliffs during 2022. The strong growth in FITs is especially welcome as it ties in with our goal of sustainably developing the attraction for the benefit of the wider economy, the tourism sector, and the environment.”
“It is important to see the overall number of online bookings grow, as visitors learn about what to do in the area, where to stay and other experiences in Clare to visit,” added Ms Enright. “Our partner hotels also have reported direct revenue and referrals from the new Cliffs of Moher website, which was launched in late 2021. Meanwhile, Trade accounted for 27% of visitors with 17% coming from Route licence operators, 80% of whom now have a second stop in Clare included on their licence.”
Cementing relationships with local craft producers has been another highlight for the Cliffs of Moher Experience during 2022, stated Ms Enright. “We engaged with West Clare-based J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey to create a new series of Irish whiskeys finished in sherry casks in the iconic O’Brien’s Tower, and we launched our ‘Meet the Makers’ initiative where 10 local producers showcased their products directly at the Cliffs of Moher, which will be taken forward with the ‘Clare and Cliffs of Moher Retail Expo’ on February 19th and 20th.”
The Cliffs of Moher Experience is a signature discovery point on Fáilte Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, a main Geosite of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Geopark, a Special Protection Area for Birds and Wildlife and is a wholly owned tourism asset of Clare County Council. The development of a long-term strategy and site masterplan for the Clare visitor attraction also is ongoing. The core focus of the Cliffs of Moher Strategy 2040 is the future protection of the site and delivery of economic benefit for the wider region. Visit www.cliffsofmoher.ie for more.
Dromoland Castle was also recognised with a merit award in the hotels category having achieve a satisfaction rate of above 92%.