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18 Dec 2015

Ireland’s double win in American travel awards

Two accolades round off another record-breaking year for Irish tourism from the United States

Ireland has scooped two major travel awards in the United States this week.

In New York, Ireland was named “best destination: Europe” at the Travel Weekly annual Readers Choice Awards – beating off stiff competition from England, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Travel Weekly is the leading weekly newspaper for American travel agents and travel professionals and some 12,000 of its readers voted in the various categories earlier this year. Now in their 13th year, the Readers Choice Awards identify the “best of the best of the travel industry” according to Travel Weekly.

And also, for the fourth year in a row, Ireland was named “best tourism destination” by frequent travellers in the United States – at the 2015 GT Tested Awards. In a survey conducted during 2015, more than 22,000 readers of American travel magazine Global Traveler named Ireland their favourite tourism destination overall. The magazine asked its business and luxury traveller readers to select their favourite destination, airline and other travel-related products and services – and Ireland took the number one spot for “best tourism destination”. The award ceremony took place this week in Los Angeles and was attended by travel industry leaders. Global Traveler is a monthly luxury travel magazine which has a circulation of almost 110,000.

Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s CEO, said: “We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for not one, but two, awards in the United States this week. 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 these award are really good news, coming at the end of another record-breaking year for Irish tourism from the US and as we prepare to kick off our extensive 2016 promotional drive in this all-important market. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our travel trade partners across the United States – who continue to play a very important role in helping us to continue to grow visitor numbers to Ireland.  

“2015 will be another record year for visitor numbers to the island of Ireland from North America. By the end of this year, we will have welcomed about 1.4 million American and Canadian visitors. Tourism Ireland has undertaken an extensive, very targeted programme of promotions right throughout 2015, building awareness of the island of Ireland as a premier vacation destination. We look forward to building on this year’s success in 2016 and beyond.”

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, accepted the “best destination: Europe” award for Ireland, at the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards in New York.

Notes To Editors

  • 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 200,000 people.
  • By the end of 2015, we will have welcomed about 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.