News: Ireland’s Best
Vacation Destinations

The luxurious five-star Dromoland Castle Hotel received CIE’s Gold Standard Award for Excellence.

By Sharon Ní Chonchúir, Contributor
March / April 2020

The best hotel and tourism operators in Ireland were recently recognized at the 30th CIE Tours International Awards of Excellence. These awards took place in Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin on January 28, and a total of 84 awards were presented on the night.

CIE Tours International is the largest specialist tour operator bringing visitors from North America to Ireland. The winners of the 2019 awards were decided following an assessment of feedback from 25,000 visitors who had travelled to Ireland with the company. Only operators who achieved a customer satisfaction rating of 92 percent or more were presented with awards.

Speaking at the ceremony, Elizabeth Crabill, the CEO of CIE Tours International, said: “Thirty years ago, CIE Tours International introduced its annual Awards of Excellence to recognize Ireland’s hospitality ambassadors – the people and businesses throughout the country who put Irish tourism on the global stage through the warmth of welcome, the diversity of experience, and the quality of service provided to our international visitors. The Irish holiday experience is unique and continues to grow in popularity. This growth is driven in no small part by our tour partners, who are continuously improving their offering.”

This year’s winners covered a wide range of operators. They included County Clare’s five-star Dromoland Castle, the four-star Lodge at Ashford Castle in County Mayo and the three-star Clew Bay Hotel in Mayo.

Killarney Horse and Carriage Tours in County Kerry was named the Best Tour Feature. Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Dublin was awarded with the title of Best Visit.

Shannon Heritage in County Clare won the National Heritage Award. And the Dunbrody Famine Ship, which is connected to the Irish America Hall of Fame, was once again recognized for the quality of its visitor experience.

Visit to find out more about these visitor attractions and many others. 

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