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The St Patrick's Day Festival 2013 on O'Connell Street, Dublin Photo by: Google Images

The Gathering proving a huge success for Irish tourism say experts

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The St Patrick's Day Festival 2013 on O'Connell Street, Dublin Photo by: Google Images

Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland, have found that the St Patrick’s Day Festival of 2013 had twice the economic impact of the same event in 2010.

Research carried out by polling firm Behaviour & Attitudes found that 140,000 adults traveled from overseas to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland in 2013. These figures are up by 37 percent compared to the number of visitors in 2010, who only created $78.4 million.

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Minister for Tourism, said, “This year’s extended St Patrick’s Day Festival was one of the key events for the Gathering, and the 40 per cent increase in overseas visitors is particularly encouraging”

“Given that the New Year’s Eve Festival also showed a marked increase in overseas visitors, the signs are that the Gathering is going well.”

Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn added that the Gathering appeared to be accounting for seven out of every ten additional overseas visitors, suggesting that the initiative was paying off.

Behaviour & Attitudes’ research showed that a quarter of 2013’s visitors were from the United States and one third came from Ireland’s traditional markets of Britain, France and Germany. The largest growth area was those tourists coming from other countries. One third came from smaller or less traditional countries.

Ireland’s visitor spending power also increased. The researchers found that in 2010 visitors spent $544 on average in Dublin. However in 2013 they spent $910 per head.

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