Ireland has been named as the fourth most desirable destination for a holiday of a lifetime by a travel magazine in the United States.
Virtuoso Life ran its annual ‘Travel Dreams’ survey and around 8,000 readers responded. While the most popular destinations were the sun drenched paradises of New Zealand, Australia and Italy, It was Ireland that emerged at number four on the voters’ wish list.
Ireland has increased in popularity since last year when it scraped into the top 10, in ninth position. This year’s result see the Emerald Isle finish above the Caribbean, the UK, France and South Africa.
The news has come as a welcome boost for Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland. He said: “Tourism Ireland has been working hard to build awareness of the island of Ireland as a premier vacation destination for American travellers, including our co-operation with the Virtuoso travel agents across the US.
“The US is an extremely important tourism market for the island of Ireland and we believe that we are on course to achieve our best year ever from that market.”
Ireland attracts around seven million tourist per year and are hoping to host over one million visitors from America in 2013.
The tourism industry is vital and accounts for around 4% of the country’s GDP. Visitors from the United States alone are predicted to spend close to $1bn during their stay.