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Fáilte Ireland’s Services Excellence Programme awards Shannon Heritage 

Thomas Nolan Photography

Pictured at Fáilte Ireland`s Services Excellence Programme Buiness Award presentation were: Kieran Macnara, Aisling O’Brien and Caroline Bagnall, Shannon Heritage with Miriam Kennedy Fáilte Ireland, Niall O’Callaghan MD Shannon Heritage, Mairead Scanlon Fáilte Ireland, Dr Dean Panter Fáilte Ireland, Aislinn Mullins, Shannon Heritage and Siobhan King Fáilte Ireland.
Photo: Thomas Nolan Photography.

Fáilte Ireland’s Services Excellence Programme awards Shannon Heritage 

Shannon Heritage has become the first tourist attraction company in Ireland to be awarded Fáilte Ireland’s Services Excellence Programme Business Award. To achieve the Award, tourism businesses at Shannon Heritage undertook Fáilte Ireland’s Accredited Service Excellence Programme with over 125 tourism frontline staff across the Group’s 10 Visitor Attractions completing a dedicated course of customer care training.

Fáilte Ireland’s Services Excellence Programme is aimed at helping tourism businesses reach the highest standards in customer care, which can result in major benefits such as business growth, additional repeat business, increased visitor spend and positive recommendations.


Speaking at the presentation of the Award, Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland said that the Programme is an important aspect of Fáilte Ireland’s business development and training supports.

“It is a marvellous achievement for the Shannon Heritage Group to achieve the Business Award from Fáilte Ireland. The Accredited Service Excellence Programme is aimed at helping tourism businesses strengthen competitiveness and to help differentiate Ireland from its international competitors. Today’s Award substantially reinforces Shannon Heritage’s reputation in customer service excellence where visitors are at the centre of everything the Group does.” 

Welcoming the Award, Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage, a Shannon Group company said:

“At Shannon Heritage we are steadfast in our strategy to be Ireland’s most customer-centric tourism company building on our long reputation for customer service and unforgettable experiences. I would like to thank Fáilte Ireland for introducing their Service Excellence Programme, and I am extremely proud that our staff have embraced this programme, with over 75% now officially accredited.  As Ireland’s largest commercial operator of tourist attractions and experiences, these awards give us an accolade that will greatly assist in our mission to always put our employee development and visitor experience, first.”

Dr.Dean Panter, National – Development Manager Hospitality Operations at Fáilte Ireland said:

“This Award is about commitment to the continued provision of “Best in Class” service provision; turning each interaction with the visitor into a positive experience; providing the welcome to Ireland that we are renowned for worldwide; strengthening competitiveness whilst helping to differentiate Ireland from its international competitors.”  

The Programme trains front-facing staff across all sectors of a business to maximise their potential in the area of customer relationships and satisfaction. It aims to reduce and/or better handle complaints, introduce new operational standards and efficiencies through best in class service, and increase sales through up-selling and cross-selling techniques.

The Shannon Heritage businesses who have completed the Accredited Services Excellence Programme are:

  • Adare Heritage Retail Outlet
  • Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
  • Cliffs of Moher Retail Outlet
  • Cragganowen
  • Dunguaire Castle
  • GPO Witness History Visitor Centre
  • King John’s Castle
  • Knappogue Castle
  • Malahide Castle & Gardens
  • Newbridge House & Farm

About the Accredited Fáilte Ireland’s Services Excellence Programme

The Accredited Service Excellence Programme is suitable for all management and front-facing staff in a tourism-related business who come into contact with visitors. The Award can be achieved in three ways:

  • Individual Award – for individual staff upon completion of a full day or online workshop;
  • As a Business Award at which point 75% of front-facing staff have completed the Programme;
  • As a Destination Award – where a number of set criteria are met and where an agreed level of key businesses in the area have achieved the business award.

To achieve the Business Award each of the Businesses who took part in this initiative were required to achieve the individual Service Excellence Business Award by having a minimum of 75% of their visitor facing staff and Management successfully complete the programme.

Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, was established in 2003 to guide and promote tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy.

The tourism and hospitality industry is of critical importance to the national economy, with tourists spending €7.8billion in Ireland and supporting 260,000 jobs.

About Shannon Heritage:

Shannon Heritage, a Shannon Group plc company, is Ireland’s largest commercial operator of managed tourist attractions and was one of the first companies in Ireland to develop and run tourist attractions and evening entertainments experiences. Shannon Heritage employs up to 300 people in the peak tourist season at its portfolio of seven-day visitor attractions and four evening entertainment options.

Shannon Heritage daytime visitor attractions: Bunratty Castle and Folk Park; King John’s Castle; Craggaunowen; Dunguaire Castle; Malahide Castle & Gardens; GPO Witness History Visitor Centre and Newbridge House and Farm.


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