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Irish Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar Photo by: Niall Carson c/o PA

Could there be another Gathering within the next decade?

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Irish Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar Photo by: Niall Carson c/o PA

Transport and Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar has suggested another Gathering could be possible within the next 10 years.

“The Gathering, we always said, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think it would be wrong to repeat it too soon, but it will maybe happen again in seven or 10 years’ time," he said.

Speaking at the Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin, the minister confirmed that the year-long event cost Irish tax payers €13 million over the last two years, and while no figures yet exist on how much revenue has been created, Varadkar has said the return will be a "multiple" of the cost.

The first eight months of 2013, Ireland saw an extra 291,000 visitors compared to last year, with visitors from the U.S. up by 16.5% and overall visitor numbers up by 6.5%, the Irish Mirror reports.

Here are some highlights of the success of the Gathering Ireland 2013:

Almost 5,000 Gatherings organised in 2013, of those

· 29% Family/Clan
· 26% Community
· 10% Culture
· 9% Corporate
· 7% Sports/Outdoor
· 6% Heritage/Tracing your roots
· 5% School/College/Friend
· 4% Agri/Food Drink
· 3% Special interest/Hobby
· 1% Education

Delivering the targets, January – August 2013

· 6.5% = 291,000 more visitors than same period, 2012
· Visitors from North America up 16.5%
· Mainland Europe up 4.8%
· Great Britain up 3.7%
· Rest of World up 11.30%

What the industry say -

· 6 out of 10 hotel owners report increased business as a result of the Gathering
· The Gathering was a “huge factor in increase in business

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