Carne Golf Links, Mayo, won the Best Employer – Golf Award at Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence Awards which took place in the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny, last night.  The awards celebrated businesses who have demonstrated their commitment to making the tourism industry an appealing and rewarding place to work through their participation in Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence programme. This is the second year of the award ceremony.


The 14 winning businesses are:

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



Speaking from the event, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said:

“Tourism has an unparalleled track record of providing a diverse range of employment opportunities in communities the length and breadth of the country. 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. 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.” 


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 just 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. 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.



Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Sector Development added: 

“We know there are excellent employers and great workplaces in the industry and to attract and retain the best people to work in tourism, we need to continue to highlight the fantastic career and employment opportunities on offer in the sector. 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. 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.” 

Tourism businesses who are interested in joining Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence programme can find out more at” 


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