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Clare County Council and Loop Head Tourism today welcomed the announcement that Loop Head Peninsula in County Clare has been named ‘Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’.

For The Irish Times competition – which has been running since March – members of the public were invited to nominate the places they love to holiday. Loop Head was named the overall winner today from a shortlist featuring the Glen of Aherlow, Co Tipperary; Inishbofin island, Co Galway; Derry City and Killarney, Co Kerry.

Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Daly congratulated the community of Loop Head on the Peninsula’s success in the competition, adding: “A huge amount of work is being carried out by local community groups, supported by Clare Local Authorities, to promote the Peninsula as a visitor destination to both domestic and international tourists. The fact that Loop Head has been selected ahead of more 1,400 destinations throughout Ireland is testament to the quality of the tourism product on offer there.”

Mayor Daly said Loop Head’s rich heritage and natural beauty has played a key part in the Peninsula’s success.

He continued: “Loop Head is one of Ireland’s most scenic locations and possesses an abundance of natural vistas, unique geological and archaeological sites, recreational amenities, and a wide range of festivals and events throughout the year. The success of the Loop Head Lighthouse visitor project is just one example of how the local community has benefited from tourism-related business in recent years. Other examples include the West Clare Railway, Kilkee Roadtrain, Dolphin Watching, various arts and crafts trails, and the development of some of Ireland’s most unique cycling and walking routes. Loop Head’s success in the Irish Times shortlist will further establish the Peninsula as a popular visitor destination.”

Reacting to today’s announcement, Cillian Murphy, Chairman of Loop Head Tourism stated: “Significant work has been undertaken during the past 4-5 years in establishing a community-wide approach to tourism development across the Peninsula. As a result of this, we have seen many members of the community establish their own tourism-based initiatives that are complemented by the supports being made available by other established local businesses, the Loop Head Tourism network, Clare County Council, Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) and Fáilte Ireland.”

Mr. Murphy added: “Loop Head excelled in this competition not only because it possesses a rich variety of visitor attractions and activities and one of some of Ireland’s most unique scenery, but also because it matched the competition criteria that were very much focused on community, sustainability and the quality of the tourism product on offer. This reflects a shift within the tourism sector to visitors looking for a genuine and organic holiday experience, which is something that Loop Head offers in abundance.”
“We are immensely proud of the sustainable tourism product that has been developed on the Loop Head Peninsula. Community-driven tourism that is supported by a network of family-run businesses, each with a shared sense of ownership of the overall tourism product, has been key to our success. As a community we will continue to explore new ways by which we can further enhance this offering and in doing so establish Loop Head Peninsula as one of Ireland’s most unique and successful visitor destinations,” Mr. Murphy concluded.

Visit www.loophead.ie or www.clare.ie for more information on the Loop Head Peninsula.