According to Tourism Ireland, The Gathering helped to increase trips to Ireland by 7.2 percent compared with 2012. It is estimated that as many as eight million people will have made an Ireland vacation before the end of the year, with record numbers of visitors from the U.S., Germany, France, and Spain.
Tourism Ireland has set the target of welcoming up to 25.6 million visitors to Ireland in the next three years, with a range of Ireland travel special offers, experiences and events. This aim will be supplemented by engagement and “talk” about Ireland through across its social media platforms
The Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, stated that “Our tourism industry is firmly on the right track and growing again.”
“There has been a 16% increase in overseas visits since the change in government. Helped by The Gathering this year, we have seen record visitor numbers from North America, and a +26% increase in air capacity from the US and Canada.”
There are a number of fascinating events planned during 2014 for those planning vacation packages to Ireland. These include: the launch of Limerick as the City of Culture, the ‘Grande Partenza’ or ‘Big Start’ of the Giro d’Italia cycle race, and the ‘Croke Park Classic,’ when NCAA football returns to Ireland with the University of Central Florida taking on Penn State.
One of the highlights of the 2014 calendar will be the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s first long-distance touring route stretching all the way from the Inishowen Peninsula in Co Donegal to Kinsale in Co Cork, will be a major focus for Tourism Ireland next year.