Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula have been awarded the
title of European Destinations of Excellence – Tourism & Intangible
Heritage 2008, in a competition funded and organised by Fáilte
Ireland with support from the European Union.
The competition received entries from areas that have implemented
marketing initiatives to preserve local, natural and cultural
heritage - while also ensuring the area’s social, cultural
and environmental sustainability. Carlingford and the Cooley
Peninsula faced top competition from the other four finalists
– Youghal Co. Cork, Ballyhoura Co. Limerick and Listowel and
Milltown in Co. Kerry.
"With the area’s natural resources, a full calendar
of events and a strong multidisciplinary tourism association,
Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula were worthy winners of
this year’s competition” - said Sheena Doyle, Marketing Co-ordinator
at Fáilte Ireland.
The area hosts a range of events throughout the year, focusing
on their intangible heritage from the ‘Birds on the Bay’
and a ‘Traditional Irish Winter School’ in February,
to the Táin Walking Festival in March and the Oyster
Festival in September. In addition, following in the steps
of Setanta and reflecting its Celtic heritage, the Poc
Fada is hosted annually on the mountains and attracts
"This award is recognition of the commitment and hard work
undertaken by the local community over many years in promoting
the area and welcoming visitors. It represents a wonderful
opportunity to showcase the Carlingford/Cooley Peninsula area
to a wider overseas audience” - said Kevin Kidney, General
Manager Fáilte Ireland East & Midlands.
The aim of the European
Destinations of Excellence Competition is to highlight
the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European
tourist destinations and to promote destinations where the
economic growth objective is pursued in such a way as to ensure
the social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism.
The adjudicators were very impressed with the variety of
products and the high standards and commitment of the local
groups. Each group recognised their destination's needs and
demonstrated awareness for ongoing improvement of their tourism