This morning, I was equally delighted and proud to hear that Ireland has been named among the top five countries in the World to visit in 2015 by The Lonely Planet Guide.
The Lonely Planet’s annual lists carry enormous influence in the travel industry – and it’s no exaggeration to say that when the Lonely Planet talks, the world listens.
Aside from our stunning landscape, friendliness and incredible hospitality, the guide drew special attention to the Wild Atlantic Way – opened by Minister Varadkar last year – saying it rivals California’s Pacific Coast Highway and Australia’s Great Ocean Road.
This is a fantastic accolade and a testament to the savvy decision to invest €8 million in the route in last year’s budget.
The guide also went on to cite hospitality is one of Ireland’s ‘true’ qualities. Although our people are undeniably our greatest asset, the retention of the 9% VAT rate – which I actively campaigned for last year – and the abolition of the Air Travel Tax, undoubtedly contributes to Ireland’s over all attractiveness.
Today is a great day for Irish Tourism and such a glowing recommendation by a globally respected publication will no doubt result a major boost Ireland’s already recovering tourism industry.