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Kilkenny City is included in a new top 10 list published by Failte Ireland for the 2014 Tourism Towns Award.

The announcement, made yesterday, sees Kilkenny go head-to-head with Westport (Co. Mayo), Cobh (Co. Cork) and Killarney (Co. Kerry) in the Best Large Town category while those competing for the Best Small Town include Ardmore (Co. Waterford), Carrick-on-Shannon (Co. Leitrim), Glengarriff (Co. Cork), Kinsale (Co. Cork), Lismore (Co. Waterford) and Portmagee (Co. Kerry).

The news arrived on the same day that Kilkenny were announced winner of Ireland’s Tidiest Town which should hopefully play into favour for the Marble City.

Already there’s been a number of unannounced inspections of sites around Kilkenny from ‘secret shoppers’ whose mission it is to assess the quality of visitor experience to be had locally. Of course, it’s going to be somewhat familiar ground to Kilkenny who took home the overall Tourism Town award in 2013. With the diversity amongst the towns included in this year’s list, the decision was made to split the award into large and small town categories.

The Tourism Town award focuses on how participating towns have developed their local area in the following key tourism areas:

  • Sense of Place – How the town tells its own unique story to visitors, what’s special about it, and what distinguishes it from other towns.
  • Tourism Experiences – What the town has to offer visitors.
  • Local Involvement in Developing Tourism – How the local community works together to provide an authentic visitor experience.
  • Development and promotion of the town – How the town takes a unified approach to marketing and developing the town into a ‘tourism town’.

Find out more here via Failte Ireland.