Waterford was well represented at the CIE Tours International Annual Awards for Excellence in Dublin last week. The Awards are now in their 30th year, recognise the best hotels and tourist attractions across Ireland and are based on feedback from over 25,000 customers throughout the year.The Granville Hotel, the Marine Bar and House of Waterford Crystal each received a Merit Award of Excellence for delivering an exceptional quality experience and welcome to tourists. Each one achieved a customer satisfaction rating of over 92% from CIE Tours International visitors.
The honours were presented by Fiona Ross, Chairman and Elizabeth Crabill, Chief Executive Officer, CIE Tours International. In total 84 hotels and tourist attractions from across the island of Ireland won awards, with 13 overall category winners being awarded a Gold Award.
CIE Tours International (www.cietours.com), a member of the CIE Group, is one of Ireland’s longest established speciality tour operators, celebrating 88 years in business this year. It is the largest specialist tour operator bringing visitors from North America to Ireland, booking over 350,000 bed nights during the year.
Employing 150 people, with offices in Dublin, London and New Jersey, it operates all-inclusive coach tours and fly-drive programmes to Ireland as well as coach tours of Britain and mainland Europe. It also provides combined tours of Ireland and the UK. In 2019 the company introduced new tours to Italy and Iceland.
Speaking at the presentation of CIE Tours International Annual Awards of Excellence Elizabeth Crabill said; “30 years ago CIE Tours International introduced its annual Awards of Excellence to recognise Ireland’s hospitality ambassadors – the people and businesses throughout the country who put Irish tourism on the global stage through the warmth of welcome and quality of service provided to our international visitors.
“Since then Ireland’s tourism sector has changed utterly and grown in reputation but the demand for excellent experiences remains constant. Ireland remains an attractive tourism destination for visitors from North America drawn by the diversity and richness of the experiences offered and the warmth of the traditional Irish welcome which should not be underestimated.
“The Irish holiday experience is unique and continues to grow in popularity, so much so that we’re launching new winter tour holidays to Ireland for the first time in 2020. This growth is driven in no small part by our Tour partners, many of whom we are recognising tonight, who are continuously improving their offering. I warmly congratulate tonight’s winners on their achievements and I thank all our partners who work closely with us throughout the year”.