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Ireland's a big hit with India tourism

Ireland is set for an increase in Indian tourists after scooping a top tourism award there.

Ireland picked up the prize for Best Emerging Destination at the annual Blue Balloon travel awards, organised by the Indian edition of Lonely Planet.

The award was presented to Tourism Ireland – the organisation responsible for promoting Ireland as a holiday destination – at a ceremony in Mumbai.

"We are absolutely delighted that Ireland has been singled out for this award," Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said.

"Latest estimates by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation suggest that India will account for 50m outbound tourists by 2020," he added.

Overseas tourism business accounts for 59pc of all tourism revenue, delivering over €3.5bn to the island of Ireland in 2012, with over 7.2m overseas visitors welcomed. It is hoped The Gathering will significantly boost these numbers this year.