Fáilte Ireland Employer Excellence Awards

Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence Awards took place at the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny last week. It is the second year that the award ceremony takes place.

The awards recognize companies that have demonstrated their commitment to making the tourism sector an attractive 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.

‘Best in class’

“An important part of Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence program is putting the views of employees in the tourism sector at the heart. Tonight’s winning companies have all been chosen based on employee feedback,” said Jenny De Saulles, sector development director of Fáilte Ireland.

“More than 27,000 tourism workers have already been engaged and positively impacted by this initiative. So it’s fantastic to come together to highlight the best examples of employers, together with the professionals who are doing well in the tourism sector.”

Unique benefits

The Employer Excellence Program has been developed by Fáilte Ireland to continually build high-quality workplaces that provide attractive and rewarding careers in which employees can develop and progress. In two years, significant progress has been made, with 64% of employees saying they enjoy the unique benefits of their role and over 70% recognizing the improved communication and employee engagement.

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

Employee involvement

As part of the programme, a survey was conducted among staff at participating companies, giving staff the opportunity to highlight the strengths of their workplace, along with areas for further development.

Fáilte Ireland is now supporting these companies to implement the actions identified in their research to further increase employee engagement.

The winning companies were chosen based on this employee feedback and completion of the special management training program.


The 14 winning companies announced that evening were:

Excellent 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 – The Hidden Hearts of Ireland: Ballyhass Adventure Park, Cork
Best Employer – Dublin: DoDublin, Dublin
Best Employer – Large Company: 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 Beverage: Elbow Lane Brew and Smoke House, CorkBest 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 influence’

“The Fáilte Ireland Employer Excellence Awards celebrate the companies that have set the industry standard for employee engagement and workplace culture in the tourism sector,” said Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland.

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