Bray has been shortlisted in 4 categories in the All Ireland Community & Council Awards, one of the towns biggest tourism initiatives – the Bray Air Display, Summer in Bray campaign and the multi-agency emergency response to the gorse fire on Bray Head have all been shortlisted in the All Ireland Community & Council Awards 2019 which is presented by IPB Insurance and LAMA:

  1. for the ‘Best Connected Council’Communications and Digital Marketing category
  2. The Bray Air Display for the Best Tourism Initiative category
  3. Summer in Bray campaign for the Best Arts/Culture (incl. festivals & events) category
  4. Multi-agency emergency response to the gorse fire on Bray Head for the Emergency Response Person/Team of the Year category

The awards recognise and celebrate community and councils working together.

Speaking of the news, Cllr. Pat Vance, Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District said ‘We are delighted to be shortlisted again in the All Ireland Community & Council Awards for 2019. The nominations recognise the overall performance and the quality of our online engagement via, our biggest tourism events – the Bray Air Display, our Summer In Bray campaign are seen as a significant contribution to Irish tourism and that the multi-agency emergency response to the gorse fire on Bray Head last summer is being honoured.”


This year we have increased our digital output which saw us reaching out to over 3.4 million users across our social networks which is a 1.1m year on year increase.

We showcase Bray as a top tourism destination. Visitors are very important to the local economy as they create jobs and support a range of facilities such as hotels, restaurants, places to visit, events and retailing.

The team have created some great story visual images highlighting the Bray brand material while promoting key strategic themes which we hope leave our audience engaged and curious about our town and its tourism offer.

We continue to distribute our brand message through partnerships with influencers, creators, tourism/travel partners and media outlets. This collaborative approach has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

In 2017 we won the ‘Best Connected Community’ award. It was an honour and privilege to receive this award. For to be recognised like this is a true testament to our hard work. It shows that our online community engagement is having a real impact. It would be great if we won the award again for 2019.

About the Bray Air Display

The award-winning Bray Air Display has been established as a hugely anticipated and popular event in the summer festival calendar. The event is renowned as one of Europe’s best aerobatic displays and seeks to encourage young people to consider an exciting career in aviation.

The event started in 2005 and 13 years on the event now attracts tens of thousands of spectators; up to 140,000 people made their way to Bray Promenade in 2018 to wonder at incredible feats of aviation and mind-boggling aerobatic displays against a backdrop of beautiful Bray head and the County Wicklow coastline.

The two-day aviation spectacle – an aerobatic feast for the senses took place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July 2018.

As well as the astounding, daredevil aerobatic displays there was live music, a funfair as well as a food and craft village – all in all, a great family weekend.

The main objective is to promote and encourage tourism from the domestic and international markets, to maximise the economic benefits of this while raising the profile of aviation and to generate interest in the industry.

It was recognised as ‘Best Festival / Event Experience over 50,000 people’ at the prestigious, national Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2017 and in 2018 we won Silver in the ‘Best Tourism Initiative’ category at the All-Ireland Community and Council Awards.

In 2018 the event team posted over 300 individual posts combined with images, videos, aircraft and event info:

  • The Hashtag #BrayAirDisplay trended on Twitter over the event weekend.
  • 5.3m #BrayAirDisplay hashtag impressions.
  • Social media reach in 2018 was 4.6 million up 1.58m YOY.
  • There were 164k visits to our website: up 5% YOY.

About ‘Here comes the summer’ – Summer In Bray tourism initiative 

Municipal District of Bray and Bray Chamber launched a summer tourism campaign which was called ‘Here comes the summer’ for 2018. The strategy aimed to promote Bray as the ultimate summer destination with a whopping 20 events & also highlighted that there’s so much to discover in the much-loved seaside resort.

The campaign goals were to help boost Bray’s image, showcase our tourism offer, culture and the incredible experiences that you can’t get anywhere else – alongside highlighting the many places to shop, eat, drink and relax in.

The three main priorities where:

  1. Build awareness that Bray is a vibrant place to visit & stay in
  2. Encourage return visits
  3. Provide a series of free events that were family-friendly

Our messaging focused on the strengths of the town:

‘From watching Outdoor Movies under the stars to enjoying all the fun of the fair at the Seafront Fun Fair, from tasting finger-lickin’ chicken wings at Wings Food Fest, to experiencing Ireland’s biggest Air Display…… this summer Bray is packed full of incredible experiences that you can’t get anywhere else, why not come explore us!’

The events ran from early June to mid-September and really showcased Bray as a vibrant place to visit.

The initiative was supported by a poster, radio, social media campaign and managed by the dedicated online team. Read more about the initiative here.

About the multi-agency emergency response to the gorse fire on Bray Head

Back in July firefighters battled with a major gorse fire on Bray Head, which forced people out of their homes and disrupted train services. It is believed the fire broke out beside a tent before spreading along the steep ground – and as a result, debris blocked train lines.

There was a multi-agency approach with the Wicklow Fire Service, the Civil Defence, An Garda Síochána and the Irish Air Corps who worked tirelessly over a number of days in order to make the area safe again.

Emergency services tackled the major blaze in very difficult conditions over a number of days in July 2018. Smoke was also reported to be heading over Bray town as a result of the large blaze.

The Air Corps dumped more than 150,000 litres of water on Bray Head during a two-day operation to stop a wildfire that devastated sections of the popular hiking trail.

The damage could have been more severe had it not been for their hard work, and the foresight of emergency response teams.

We are full of praise and gratitude for the firefighters for their efforts. We are proud to have a team of caring, compassionate and dedicated people.

About the All Ireland Community and Council Awards 2019 

Now in its 13th year, the All Ireland Community and Council Awards presented by IPB Insurance and LAMA will take place on Saturday 9th February 2019 in the Hogan Suite, Croke Park Stadium. These awards recognise and celebrate community and councils working together. They provide a great opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work done within our communities, to reward our unsung heroes and recognise the phenomenal contribution they’ve made to our lives.

About the Best Connected Council (Communication & Digital Marketing) Category

This category will recognise the community that is connected to councils, businesses and each other, can access services easily and quickly and communicate activities and events taking place in the area with the click of a mouse. This category will take into account a community’s use of social media and websites that promote community initiatives, whether that be information on coffee mornings, parent and baby groups, local markets or jumble sales.

About the Best Tourism Initiative Category

Specifically aimed at rewarding an initiative which directly increases visitor numbers to an area or to Ireland overall, this category will recognise an initiative or project that has helped improve the way we care for our visitors. The impact this initiative has had or is having on visitor numbers and on communities will be taken into consideration, as will the effect it is having on businesses, both new and existing.

About the Arts/Culture (including festivals & events)

The Local Festival/Event of the Year award recognises the huge effort made by both residents and organisers to make an event happen and the sense of community such an endeavour creates. The winning festival/event will also have boosted tourism and attracted business to the area, thereby raising the community’s profile and cementing the area’s commitment to building a healthy and whole neighbourhood.

About the Emergency Response Person/Team of the Year

This category has been created to recognise the extraordinary people we rely on in times of crisis who have been heroic and gone beyond the call of duty. This person/team may have shown extreme courage during an incident or dedicated a lifetime of service to the community whether on a voluntary basis or whilst on duty.

For more information about the awards please click here.



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