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14 Dec 2018

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 fifth year in a row.

Ireland was named “best destination: Europe” at the 16th annual Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards gala last night (Thursday, 13 December) – beating off tough competition from France, Greece, Italy, Spain and England. Travel Weekly is the leading weekly newspaper for American travel agents and travel professionals and thousands of its readers voted in the various categories earlier this year. 

Ireland also won this award in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Accepting the award in New York, Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for the fifth year in a row for this prestigious award. 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 2019, in this all-important market.” 

2018 will be the sixth 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 2.06 million American and Canadian visitors (+14%), delivering revenue of €1.85 billion (+14%). Tourism Ireland has undertaken an extensive, very targeted programme of promotions right throughout 2018, 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 2019 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 around 325,000 people across the island.
  • By the end of 2018, we will have welcomed around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.2 million visitors in 2017.