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Figures don't lie. The Gathering Ireland 2013 has been deemed a huge success. Photo by: Gathering

The Gathering exceeds all expectations as an extra 275,000 tourists visit Ireland

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Figures don't lie. The Gathering Ireland 2013 has been deemed a huge success. Photo by: Gathering

The Gathering has been deemed an overwhelming success after adding over $230 million to the Irish economy.

Ireland’s Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar has revealed that the year long extravaganza attracted an extra 275,000 visitors.

However a review of the initiative has said that any repeat would prove ‘difficult’ according to the Irish Times.

The newspaper says the report on The Gathering recommends that ‘consideration should be given to never staging it again’.

As the year long celebration ends, statistics show that visits to Ireland increased by 7.3 per cent in the first 10 months of 2013 with the key US market showing ‘double-digit growth’.

The profits from The Gathering are huge with the review outlining government spending of just over $16million on the project.

The review was commissioned by those in charge of The Gathering and undertaken by independent researchers.

The Gathering asked Irish people to invite friends and relatives to visit Ireland in 2013 with a series of special events staged during the year.

Minister Varadkar said: “The Gathering has been a fantastic experience and a great success. It’s delivered the results we were looking for.

“It helped to restore Ireland’s status as a premier tourism destination and it strengthened links with the Diaspora. I am determined to build on this success for next year.”

Project director Jim Miley oversaw the review which recommended that The Gathering would ‘lose impact’ if staged again within the next five years.

It also suggests that ‘the power of the personal invite to people overseas should be harnessed and local authority-led community tourism projects aided financially’.

Miley said: “The Gathering has vastly exceeded expectations, largely thanks to the manner in which it was embraced and adopted by communities.”

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