Wicklow to benefit from Ireland’s latest award for “Best travel destination in Europe”

Looking down the glacial valley of Glendalough,

Ireland has been named as the best travel destination in Europe at the 20th annual Travel Weekly Reader’s Choice Awards in New York. This is the ninth year in a row that Ireland has won the award which were held at the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

The awards span 13 different categories from Airlines to Technology and Ireland was selected under the ‘Destinations’ category for Europe. Included in the short list for the award were other strong contenders such as Croatia, France, Italy, Greece & Spain.

With Tourism and associated activity in County Wicklow worth in the region of €135 million each year, this comes as welcome news. 2022 has been a superb year for growth in County Wicklow from experiences, adventure activities, food & drink development, heritage and arts. Post pandemic Wicklow continues to be a strong pull for overseas visitors considering adding Ireland to their next itinerary.

Travel Weekly is a leading weekly newspaper for American travel agents and travel professionals. The award was voted on by thousands of readers of the publication.

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America was on hand to accept the award on the night. “We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for the ninth year in a row for this prestigious award.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our travel trade partners across the United States – who continue to play a hugely important role in helping us promote the island of Ireland.

“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, as we prepare to kick off another extensive and targeted promotional drive in 2023.”

The United States remains an extremely important market for tourism to the island of Ireland. In 2019, 1.7 million American visited Ireland, and delivered €1.6 billion for the economy.

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 working together again in 2023.”

With almost 15,000 people in Wicklow alone employed in the Tourism industry and the cost of living crisis continuing to spiral, securing our profile as a great place to visit has never been as important. Awards like these and the recent National Geographic listing which placed Wicklow amongst the top 35 places to visit are valuable tools as we navigate our way around economic uncertainty in the coming years.

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