Thursday 14 December 2017

Ireland's welcome among best on Planet

Fergus Black

We're among the top 10 friendliest countries in the world, according to a leading travel guide.

Ireland, Scotland, Turkey, the United States, Malawi, Fiji, Thailand, Samoa, Vietnam and Indonesia were named as the countries where the welcome is always warm in Lonely Planet's latest book, '1000 Ultimate Experiences'.

On Ireland, it notes that centuries of turmoil, conflict and famine -- and subsequent immigration -- have certainly taken their toll on the Irish and left them with a "deliciously dark sense of humour" and a welcoming attitude towards strangers.

The famous ability of the Irish to find craic (fun times with convivial company) in boom or bust times means you're always in for a treat, it says.

"These days, after the end of the Troubles, a cautious optimism reigns supreme infecting the land with the sense that anything's possible."

Failte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn said the Lonely Planet's recognition was welcome but not surprising.

"Over the years, our research has constantly found that the warmth and friendliness of our people, along with our green landscapes and scenery, are the biggest draws for visitors.

"Despite some fears in recent years of a frostier 'failte', it is reassuring to see that we remain a friendly destination and renowned for our welcome," Mr Quinn said.

Irish Independent

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