Scattery Island Honoured in Brussels
Scattery Island in County Clare was amongst 18 European destinations to be officially presented with their EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) Award at a gala ceremony in Brussels last weekend. The Irish winner of the 2017 EDEN Award was officially announced last October by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, in recognition as the destination in Ireland which has best used its local tangible cultural assets to grow visitor numbers.
The prestigious EDEN competition, which is staged every two years in each EU country along a specific shared theme, is managed in Ireland by Fáilte Ireland and is designed to encourage and promote a more sustainable form of tourism development. Scattery Island was the outright winner under the theme Tangible Cultural Destination. The two runner-up destinations were Ceide Coast, Co Mayo and The Norman Way, Co Wexford.
Fáilte Ireland manages the EDEN competition in Ireland and Paddy Mathews, Head of Attractions for Fáilte Ireland, today emphasised: “The EDEN Competition, which this year focused on Tangible Cultural Tourism, provides a platform for international recognition for destinations such as Scattery Island, which have a unique tourism offering. The EDEN network will provide them with the opportunity to foster links with other Irish and European destinations of excellence in a collaboration which can lead to significant economic and social benefits.The theme focused on small, emerging, non-traditional destinations located off the beaten track that offered an authentic cultural tourism experience. This is something Ireland has in abundance which made for a close and fiercely competitive selection process.”
Ian Lynch, Scattery Island Heritage and Development Group, said:“We have always recognised Scattery Island as the jewel in the crown for local tourism and it’s a fantastic product with a wealth of culture and history. This award is recognition of the amazing experience a trip to Scattery Island is but also an acknowledgement of what can be achieved through collaboration of community groups and state bodies such as the OPW and Clare County Council who have supported, protected and developed the Island over the years."
Accepting the award, Irene Hamilton, Scattery Island Heritage and Development Group, said:"The award will bring international recognition to Scattery Island enhancing its profile and increasing awareness. This in turn will spring board Scattery Island and the greater area of Kilrush and West Clare as a family friendly tourist destination, providing us locally with the opportunity to manage the product in a sustainable manner, creating jobs and enhancing and development of the local economy.”
Scattery Island was chosen as the winning destination following on-site assessments by a panel of expert adjudicators who were looking for a destination that could provide examples of good practice, opportunities to improve the visitors’ cultural experience, a platform for the development and promotion of cultural tourism, an understanding of the challenges faced in the development of such tourism and a forum for networks to share knowledge.