Ireland has been named as “The Best Tourist Destination” by Americans for the second year running.
The survey was carried out by Global Traveller magazine. They quizzed 22,000 people on what their favourite holiday destination is, based on numerous aspects of a trip including the friendliness of the locals and the attractions on offer.
For the second year in a row Ireland came out on top.
The award will be music to the ears for organisers of The Gathering, a series of events across the country to attract visitors throughout the year.
Nearly half a million American visitors last summer
It was aimed at people of Irish origin around the world, inviting them to return to their homeland for a visit. This award suggests it was certainly successful with Irish Americans, with nearly half a million visiting during the summer, a 20% increase on 2012.
Irish Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar praised the campaign, claiming it was responsible for 291,000 extra visitors to Ireland in 2013.
However, he said there are no plans to repeat The Gathering next year: “We always said it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity, so I think it would be wrong to repeat it again too soon.
Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland added: “We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out once again for this accolade. Travellers nowadays have tremendous choice, which makes it more important than ever that Ireland stands out from other destinations, particularly as we prepare our promotional drive in the all-important US market.”
Ireland is not only proving popular with Americans. It has also enjoyed healthy tourism figures from Europe, particularly Germany and the UK.