Ireland voted as top 'luxury tourism' destination

A tourist kisses the Blarney Stone

Ireland's financial woes have made international headlines, but the staggeringly wealthy still flock to it on vacation and it has just been named as one of the world’s best luxury travel destinations for 2012.

Luxurytravelmagazine.com this week named Ireland as one of the truly elite locations to visit to the richest tourists on the planet. 



Pampering for the well-heeled, the website gushed, is easily on a par there with the deluxe offerings in Brazil, Congo, Colombia, Jordan, Laos, Tasmania and Thailand. 



The exclusive travel website — which is invitation-only, meaning if you have to ask you can't afford it - is read worldwide and although it's famously exclusive, those it inspires to visit Ireland will likely bring eye-popping bank balances with them. 



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Ireland's attractions, the website claims, include its rolling green countryside, its world class golf courses and resorts and its charming crumbling medieval castles. 



Meanwhile Tourism Ireland, Ireland's tourist board, released a list of its most popular attractions in 2010, which included:



1. Dublin Zoo — 963,053 visitors 


2. Guinness Storehouse — 930,000 


3. National Gallery of Ireland — 736,855 


4. National Aquatic Centre — 721,871 


5. Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience — 720,574
6. National Botanic Gardens — 533,120 


7. Book of Kells — 469,674 


8. Irish Museum of Modern Art — 408,000 


9. Fota Wildlife Park — 377,004 


10. Blarney Castle — 308,000

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