Spike Island, Ireland’s equivalent of Alcatraz, has been nominated as one of Europe’s leading tourist attractions in the prestigious World Travel Awards.
The Cork Harbour visitor attraction has been shortlisted alongside the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Acropolis, in a shortlist of 10 sites competing in the top European category in the Oscars of the travel industry.
Titanic Belfast won the European title last year and the Guinness Storehouse took the top award the previous year.
Spike Island manager John Crotty said they hope to make it three in a row for Ireland this year.
“The aim for us is to become the go-to destination for the South of Ireland, and to be seen on a par with Belfast’s Titanic visitor centre and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin,” he said.
The awards will be decided by public vote and will be announced in St Petersburg in September.
Ireland has been named in the best destination category, Dublin and Belfast have been shortlisted in the best city breaks category, the Sandymount Hotel in Dublin has been shortlisted for a “green hotel” award, and Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa in Cork is competing for a leading resort award.
The nomination for Spike Island caps a remarkable 12 months for the attraction following its reopening in June 2016, with a nomination for a Chambers Ireland tourism award and a 2017 nomination in the Irish Tourism awards for best leisure tourism innovation.
More than €6.5m was spent transforming the former monastery, fortress and prison into a visitor attraction in a project co-funded by Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland.
Reached by ferry from Cobh, visitors to the 104-acre island are taken on a guided tour through the site’s remarkable 1,300 year history, where the story of its 6th-century monastery, its star-shaped 1800s-built fort, and its various incarnations as a prison are told.
You can vote for Spike Island by clicking on a special link on www.spikeislandcork.ie.
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