Belfast Telegraph

Ireland fourth in dream trip list

Ireland has been voted fourth in a league of dream destinations by US holidaymakers.

Only Australia, Italy and New Zealand were ranked higher, taking the top three spots in the travel dream list.

Almost 8,000 readers of Virtuoso Life magazine who took part in the annual survey were asked their ideal destination, travel experience and ultimate trip of a lifetime.

Ireland was ahead of France, South Africa, the Caribbean, Greece, England and French Polynesia in the rankings.

Niall Gibbons, of Tourism Ireland, said it was particularly heartening as the magazine readers were known to be discerning, sophisticated and well-travelled, with a strong desire for authentic experiences.

"The United States is an extremely important tourism market for the island of Ireland and we believe that we are on course to achieve our best year ever from that market," he added.

"The most recent figures from the Central Statistics Office showed a very positive start to 2013, with the strongest first half performance ever from North America.

"This year, we hope to welcome over one million American visitors, spending about one billion US dollars."

Virtuoso Life magazine is published six times a year and is distributed to the homes of 200,000 affluent travellers.

Last year, Ireland came in at number nine in the same survey.

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