Fáilte Ireland Employer Excellence Awards

Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence Awards took place last week in the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny. This is the second year of the award ceremony. The awards celebrate businesses who have demonstrated commitment to making the tourism industry an appealing and rewarding place to work through their participation in Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence programme. O’Callaghan Coaches from Co. Kerry received the Outstanding Employer Award.



“A key element of Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence programme is putting the views of tourism employees front and centre and tonight’s winning businesses have all been chosen based on employee feedback,” said Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland’s director of sector development.


“Over 27,000 tourism employees have already been engaged and positively impacted by this initiative. So, it’s fantastic to gather together to showcase the best-in-class examples of employers along with those professionals who are thriving in the tourism industry.”


Unique Benefits

The Employer Excellence Programme was developed by Fáilte Ireland to continuously build quality workplaces that offer appealing and rewarding careers where employees can develop and progress. In two years, considerable progress has been made with 64% of employees saying they enjoy the unique benefits of their role and over 70% recognising improved employee communication and involvement.


Over 260 tourism businesses are currently participating in the Fáilte Ireland programme which launched in September 2022.


Employee Engagement

As part of the programme, a survey was conducted with staff of participating businesses, which gave staff the chance to highlight the strengths of their workplace, along with areas for further development. Fáilte Ireland is now supporting these businesses to implement actions identified in their survey to further enhance employee engagement.


The winning businesses were chosen based on this employee feedback as well as completion of the dedicated management training programme.



The 14 winning businesses announced on the night were:

Outstanding Employer: O’Callaghan Coaches, Kerry
Best Employer – Wild Atlantic Way: Sandhouse Hotel, Donegal
Best Employer – Ireland’s Ancient East: Goldie Fish and Ale
Best Employer – Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands: Ballyhass Adventure Park, Cork
Best Employer – Dublin: DoDublin, Dublin
Best Employer – Large Business: Trump International, Clare
Best Employer – Medium Business: Aspect Hotel Parkwest, Dublin
Best Employer – Small Business: Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny, Kilkenny
Best Employer – Attraction: GPO Museum, Dublin
Best Employer – Food and Drink: Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House, Cork

Best Employer – Hotel Group: PREM Group, National
Best Employer – Golf: Carne Golf Links, Mayo
Best Employer – Adventure: Vagabond Tours, Wicklow
Best Employer – Tour Operator/DMC: Odyssey International, Dublin


‘Positive Impact’

“The Fáilte Ireland Employer Excellence Awards are a celebration of the businesses who have set the industry standard for employee engagement and workplace culture in the tourism sector,” said Paul Kelly, Fáilte Ireland CEO.


“According to our latest labour market research, this positive impact can already be seen as 88% of employees in the sector now view tourism as a long-term career option, an increase of 17% on the previous year.”

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