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21 Oct 2019

Lonely Planet declares Galway the fourth best city in the world to visit in 2020

Tourism Ireland rolls out promotional campaign around the world to maximise Lonely Planet accolade

Galway has been named the fourth best city in the world to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet – coming in ahead of cities like La Paz, Vancouver and Denver. The leading travel media company unveiled the accolade today (Monday, 21 October) in the prestigious Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 – its collection of the world’s hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the coming year.

Tourism Ireland plans to take every opportunity to maximise this accolade for Galway over the coming weeks and months. Its promotional campaign will roll out in Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Welcoming the news, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The inclusion of Galway as the Number Four City in the world in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 is wonderful news and will surely help to inspire travellers everywhere to put Galway and the Wild Atlantic Way on their holiday wish-list for next year. It is another well-deserved accolade, which provides Tourism Ireland with a great hook to continue to promote Galway and Ireland around the world as a ‘must visit’ destination.”

Galway is described in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2020 as “brilliantly bohemian” and “arguably Ireland’s most engaging city”. It goes on to talk about Galway 2020 and says: “vivid and vibrant, brimful of imagination, Galway in 2020 is home to a year-long, city-wide, arty party”

Tourism Ireland’s campaign to leverage the accolade will roll out over the coming weeks. Activity to spread the good news will include:
  • a new video highlighting Galway city and county and Galway 2020; click here to view;
  • a specially created page on Tourism Ireland’s international website,, which attracted 20+ million visitors last year;
  • extensive social media activity, including posts and news on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has 4.4 million fans worldwide), Instagram (around 630,500 followers) and Twitter (523,000 followers);
  • a major PR and publicity push to Tourism Ireland’s 20,000 international media contacts (including an article on the organisation’s online press room); and 
  • highlighting the accolade at major travel fairs like the upcoming World Travel Market in London, the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar.
Bridgette Brew, Galway 2020; Nóirín Hegarty, VP Digital Content, Lonely Planet; Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; and Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020, at the announcement Galway has been named the fourth best city in the world to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet.

Notes To Editors

Top ten cities in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 are:

  1. Salzburg, Austria
  2. Washington DC, USA
  3. Cairo, Egypt
  4. Galway
  5. Bonn, Germany
  6. La Paz, Bolivia
  7. Kochi, India
  8. Vancouver, Canada
  9. Dubai, UAE
  10. Denver, USA

Previous Press Release

17 Oct 2019

Spanish travel professionals say Olé to Ireland