Ireland has been named as the best travel destination in Europe at a prestigious award ceremony in London.
The Group Travel Awards took place at the swanky Park Plaza Riverside hotel in London.
Awards are given out for a variety of categories such as the best destinations, attractions, events, accommodation and transport.
Winners are voted for by readers of the Group Travel Organiser (GTO) Magazine.
The ‘Best European Destination’ was awarded to Ireland for the third year in a row. Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Switzerland made up the rest of the top five.
Another highlight f the ceremony for Irish travel fans was that the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin was named the second-best attraction in Europe – coming second only to Disneyland Paris. Titanic Belfast also finished in the top 10 – reaching sixth place.
Julie Wakley is Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain. She was delighted that Ireland had done so well at the awards.
She said: “We are delighted that Ireland has been voted ‘Best European Destination’ once again at the Group Travel Awards and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the group travel organisers who voted for 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 – so this award is good news indeed, reminding group organisers around Britain that Ireland is the ideal choice.”
Elsewhere, Jet2.com was named ‘Best Airline’, Eurostar was awarded ‘Best Rail Operator’ and Kent won the Best UK Destination.
Over 11 million people visited Ireland last year, with the tourism industry employing 325,000 people.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling