Cork's Spike Island has been recognised as the Best Attraction in the world at the prestigious International Travel & Tourism Awards.
The award, which "recognises attractions that ensure their visitors have an excellent experience and can demonstrate exemplary levels of customer service and customer satisfaction" was handed out at a ceremony in London on Tuesday night.
Spike Island beat out the likes of the Cliffs of Moher, the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour, Les Villages Nature Paris, Dark Sky Alqueva and Sengan-en and Shoko Shuseikan to claim gold in its category.
Located off the coast of Cobh, the island is often known as 'Ireland's Alcatraz' and continues to grow in popularity among tourists.
WE WON!! Spike island has just been named ‘Best Attraction’ at @IntTTAwards 2019! The final 6 incl Cliffs of Moher, a Disneyland spin off, UNESCO world heritage site & Harry Potter @ Warner Bros.
Thank you to all our amazing staff and visitors!! @ancienteastIRL @Corkcoco pic.twitter.com/inxecFY203
— SpikeIslandCork (@SpikeIslandCork) November 5, 2019
Based on a 104-acre site, Spike Island boasts a rich history dating back to the seventh century, when a monastery was located on the island.
While utilised as a fortress in the 18th century, Spike Island is best known as a prison and it was the world's largest in 1850.
Accessible by ferry from Cobh, it is a tourist attraction that doesn't disappoint and that's evident in the visitor growth, which was 60 per cent year on year in both 2017 and 2018.
Tours of the island have already contributed over €6 million to the local economy, against a target of €5 million by 2020.