Ireland has scooped a major travel award in New York – for the third year in a row.
Ireland was named ‘Best destination: Europe’ at the annual Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards – beating off tough competition from England, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Travel Weekly is the leading weekly newspaper for American travel agents and travel professionals and some 15,000 of its readers voted in the various categories earlier this year. Now in their 14th year, the Readers Choice Awards represent the “best of the best in travel”, according to Travel Weekly. Ireland also won this award in 2014 and 2015.
Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for this award in the USA. 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 really good news, coming at the end of another record-breaking year for Irish tourism from the USA and as we prepare to kick off another extensive promotional drive in 2017, in this all-important market.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our travel trade partners across the USA – who continue to play a very important role in helping us to continue to grow visitor numbers to Ireland. I would also like to acknowledge the hugely important contribution of our tourism partners from the island of Ireland, who joined us on the ground in the USA this year, helping to spread the word about why Ireland is such a great choice for a vacation.
“2016 will be the fourth record year in a row for visitor numbers to the island of Ireland from North America. By the end of this year, we will have welcomed about 1.6 million American and Canadian visitors, delivering revenue of €1.4 billion for the economy throughout 2016. Tourism Ireland has undertaken an extensive, very targeted programme of promotions right throughout 2016, building awareness of the island of Ireland as a premier vacation destination. We look forward to building on this year’s success in 2017 and beyond.”
Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination. Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 220,000 people.