Giro event scoops European sport tourism award

Published on : Tuesday, May 19, 2015

tourism awardThe impact of Tourism Northern Ireland’s work on the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start has been recognised yet again with a further accolade at the Shannon Group European Sport Tourism Awards.

The Giro spectacle scooped the National Sport Tourism Event of the Year at the inaugural European sport tourism event held in Limerick last week.

Fifteen organisations and venues were selected as award recipients from a shortlist of over 70 towns, cities, events and venues from the island of Ireland and across Europe.

The awards, one of the high points of the 2015 Shannon Airport European Sport Tourism Summit, are designed to recognise and reward innovation and achievement in sport tourism across Europe.

The annual think-tank on the industry was addressed by some of the world’s leading experts on sport tourism, including Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills and Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, Simon Morton.

The Giro d’Italia was recognised for its contribution and impact within the sport tourism sector and for setting high standards for the years ahead. Other entries in awards categories included Yorkshires Tour de France Le Grand Depart and Scotland’s Ryder Cup.

Other Irish winners included Westport, Co. Mayo, which claimed the European Sport Tourism Town, and the Tour de Burren in the Regional Sport Tourism Event of the Year.

Eddie Rowan, Tourism NI Events Manager, said: “The clear message from the Giro event, and indeed the success of other sporting events like the Irish Open and the World Police and Fire Games, is that Northern Ireland has the capacity, the will and the passion for sport, so we are delighted to have this validated in winning this award.

“Sport tourism is the fastest growing sector in tourism, growing at a rate of 14% per annum compared to 5% for the wider sector. That’s rapid growth and in a €450 billion global market, it amounts to a huge opportunity. Tourism Northern Ireland will be doing everything possible to make sure we capitalise within this market.”

The Shannon Group European Sport Tourism Award extends the run of plaudits achieved by the Giro d’Italia event.

It has also won Best NI Tourism Marketing Initiative for 2014 at the NI Travel and Tourism Awards, the Tourism and Hospitality Project of the Year at the UTV Business Eye Awards, and a marketing award at the CIM Marketing Awards.

Most recently the Giro d’Italia was hailed as a major success at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards winning an Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award.

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