Ireland wins ‘best destination’ award as visits smash 10 million barrier
'The best of the best in travel'
Ireland has been named Europe's “best destination" at the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards for the third year running.
The award, announced at a ceremony at New York's Conrad Hotel, caps a record-breaking year for overseas tourism to the island.
"Travellers nowadays have tremendous choice, which makes it more important than ever to ensure the island of Ireland stands out from other destinations," said Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s CEO. "This award is really good news."
Travel Weekly is a leading weekly newspaper for American travel agents and travel professionals. Some 15,000 of its readers voted in its awards this year, representing the “best of the best in travel”, according to the publication.
Ireland's mantelpiece is getting rather crowded at this stage.
2016 has already seen Ballyfin Demesne named the world's best hotel and Titanic Belfast voted World's Leading Tourist Attraction, while Lonely Planet recently tipped Skellig Ring as one of its Top 10 regions to visit in 2017.
Last month, Ireland was also hailed 'Best Destination Europe' by World Traveller Media, an information platform for Chinese travellers.
The international accolades come as overseas visitor numbers rocket towards a record 10.5 million for the year - a rise of 11pc on 2015.
In total, overseas tourism is expected to bring revenues of €5.4 billion to the island in 2016, with growth particularly strong in North America.
Both Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland are playing down expectations for 2017, however, largely on foot of Brexit and euro uncertainty.
Gibbons expects just a 1pc rise in visitor numbers next year.
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