The Boston Irish Tourism Association, which promotes cultural tourism in Massachusetts, has been named to the “Irish Hospitality Top 50” list by the Irish Echo Newspaper in New York City for the second straight year. The awards were announced in the December 7-13, 2011 issue of the weekly paper.
BITA founders Michael and Colette Quinlin were cited by the Echo for connecting grassroots cultural groups and small businesses to the state’s convention and visitors industry, which attracts over 27 million tourists to Massachusetts each year. They were praised for strengthening tourism industry ties between Ireland and the New England region.
The Irish Hospitality Top 50 awards are sponsored by Tourism Ireland, Ireland’s official tourism agency which markets the entire island of Ireland in the North American market.
Other Massachusetts winners of this year’s award include Colin Breen, owner of the Four Green Fields Pub & Restaurant, which opened in downtown Boston in February, 2011; Brendan O’Connor, owner of O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester; and Ginny and Craig Conroy, owners of Saltwinds Bed & Breakfast and Guesthouse in Hyannis, Cape Cod.
Founded in 2000, the Boston Irish Tourism Association is a membership group that has promoted thousands of Massachusetts cultural events, concerts, theatre, literary readings, art exhibits, festivals and parades to residents and visitors alike. BITA issues a free magazine, Travel& Culture Guide three times a year, operates six web sites and issues daily blogs and tweets about cultural activities, hotel specials and travel packages. It has also created the Boston Irish Heritage Trail, a walking tour of 20 landmarks that tell the Boston Irish story, and published a booklet, Finding Your Irish Roots in Massachusetts.