Saturday, May 07, 2022

As the country gears up for what promises to be the first ‘normal’ summer in three years, details of the search for ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’ 2022 have been announced – and the big question locally is, ‘Could or should Mayo be the winner?’

People all over Ireland are being invited to nominate their favourite holiday destination for the coveted title of ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’ 2022.

Wherever your favourite holiday destination is on the island of Ireland – be it a town, village, city, island, or distinct region – it has a chance to secure the coveted title of ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’.

To be in with a chance to claim the title all you have to do is write a short submission explaining what makes it a special holiday destination.

The initiative which has been launched by The Irish Times in association with Fáilte Ireland will see the nominated locations judged on a range of criteria including natural amenities, built environment, sustainability, tourism services, diversity, a welcome for outsiders, transport links, accommodation supply, cost and of course the X factor.

“Over the last couple of years many of us have been presented with the opportunity to visit and explore places in this country like never before and that’s one of the reasons we’re very excited to be embarking on the search for ‘The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’ 2022,” commented Irish Times journalist and chair of the judging panel Conor Goodman.

“Our aim is to discover some great places, explore them, and share them with the world. Our panel of judges and researchers will travel the highways and byways of Ireland looking out for perfect hideaways as well as checking out better-known destinations. We want people in each of the 32 counties – including Mayo  – to help us identify these special locations as soon as possible – it doesn’t matter whether you live there or are a visitor.”

The stunning Keem Bay on Achill Island.

The competition last took place in 2013 with the Loop Head Peninsula in County Clare emerging as the eventual winner. The Clare region was selected not only for its natural beauty and range of amenities, but also for its hard-working hospitality businesses and its vision of a new kind of tourist experience based on community involvement and care for its natural environment. As the inaugural winner, Loop Head cannot win this time round.

Anyone can enter by writing a short pitch about their favourite place to holiday in Ireland – no longer than 300 words – stating why you think it should win. To nominate go to www.irishtimes.com/bestplace

Joining Conor Goodman on the judging panel will be Nadia El Ferdaoussi, travel blogger; Cillian Murphy, county councillor from Loop Head, the 2013 winner; Trevor White, director of the Little Museum of Dublin; and Rosita Boland, Irish Times journalist.

Over the next three months the judges will shortlist a number of places based on the submissions, visit the frontrunners, before choosing a winner on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The closing date for entries is Tuesday, June 7.

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