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15 Dec 2017

Ireland scoops ‘best destination’ award in New York

Travel Weekly accolade rounds off another record-breaking year for Irish tourism from the United States

Ireland has scooped a major travel award in New York – for the fourth year in a row.

Ireland was named “best destination: Europe” at the annual Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards last night (Thursday, 14 December) – beating off tough competition from France, Italy, Spain, Germany and England. 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 15th year, the Readers Choice Awards represent the “best of the best in travel” according to Travel Weekly. 

Ireland also won this award in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out once again for this prestigious award,” said Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America.  “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 US and as we prepare to kick off another extensive promotional drive in 2018, in this all-important market.” 

2017 will be the fifth 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 1.83 million American and Canadian visitors (+16.7%), delivering revenue of €1.67 billion (+14.5%). Tourism Ireland has undertaken an extensive, very targeted programme of promotions right throughout 2017, building awareness of the island of Ireland as a premier vacation destination. 

“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,” continued Alison Metcalfe. “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 US this year, helping to spread the word about why Ireland is such a great choice for a vacation. We look forward to building on this year’s success together, in 2018 and beyond.”

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, with 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 281,000 people across the island.
  • By the end of 2017, we will have welcomed approximately 10.65 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.78 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 19.37 million visitors in 2016.