Ireland voted world's best travel destination in US awards
A very good year
Published 18/12/2015 | 13:12
Ireland has capped a record year for tourism with a brace of major travel awards in the United States this week.
The country was named 'Best Destination: Europe' at the Travel Weekly annual Readers Choice Awards in New York.
Travel Weekly is the leading weekly newspaper for American travel agents and travel professionals, with some 12,000 readers voting this year.
For the fourth year in a row, Ireland was also named 'Best Tourism Destination' at the 2015 GT Tested Awards.
Over 22,000 readers of the American travel magazine, Global Traveler, named Ireland their favourite tourism destination at a ceremony in Los Angeles.
Global Traveler is a luxury travel magazine with a circulation of almost 110,000.
"These awards are really good news," said Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s CEO, who thanked the organisation's travel trade partners in the US.
"Travellers nowadays have tremendous choice, which makes it more important than ever for us to ensure the island of Ireland stands out from other destinations."
2015 is set to be a record year for Irish tourism, with some 7.9 million visitors expected to have spent €4.2 billion here in the 12-month period.
Tourism Ireland recently unveiled marketing plans that it hopes will help attract 8.2 million visitors in 2016 - including a Star Wars-themed campaign.
One in ten transatlantic visitors to Europe now pass through Ireland, according to Tourism Ireland, with passenger numbers booming at Dublin Airport.
"By the end of this year, we will have welcomed about 1.4 million American and Canadian visitors," Gibbons added.