The Bureau of Ireland Travel
The official name of the Bureau of Ireland Travel is Bord Fáilte, which essentially means "The Welcome Committee". Bord Fáilte is a government-run agency that deals with the promotion of Ireland as a tourist destination. This organization is the licensing board for Irish restaurants, accommodations, pubs and tourist sites. They rate all aspects of the tourism industry and, when these businesses are approved, it means that the establishment meets the minimum requirements and is allowed to display the Bord Fáilte sign.

The Bureau of Ireland Travel can be very helpful in planning your Ireland vacation. They publish catalogs of accommodations, which are categorized separately as hotels, B&B's and self-catering accommodations, as well as being indexed by county. These were a great help to us when we planned our first trip to Ireland in 1998. If you are the adventurous traveler, you will know if the restaurant or B&B that you happen upon is Bord Fáilte approved because of the sign outside.

The Bureau of Ireland Travel also conducts competitions for the tourism businesses to compete for awards in their category. The Lydon family's self-catering accommodations have won numerous awards in their field. Phil O'Brien's Travelers Rest B&B and Tina Slevin's Coolabawn House B&B have also won awards. This particular competition is called "The Irish Welcome Awards". As a matter of fact, we were asked by Mary Lydon to write a recommendation for them, as we were their very first guests at Kiltale House in Dunsany, Co. Meath. Since then, they have grown by leaps and bounds, and they now have several more accommodations.

Bord Fáilte also publishes the Bord Fáilte Ireland Guide, which has been newly reconceived and rewritten. The latest edition is organized into the seven principal tourist regions: the East, the South, the Shannon, the West, the North-West, Northern Ireland, and the Midlands. The book provides basic tourist information on where to go, what to see, and what's going on.

There are features on Irish history, Irish society, food and drink, sport, social life, wildlife, and art and architecture. Bord Fáilte Ireland Guide is a wealth of local and regional information and insider tips. Written by contributors with extensive, first-hand knowledge of Ireland, it is the most up-to-date and comprehensive general guide to Ireland of its kind.

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