Shop Street, Galway City - the top destination for Americans

Galway has been named one of the most popular tourist destinations for Irish American tourist according to a recent survey by in conjunction with  Amarach Research.

The research also concluded that the Galway Arts Festival is one of the great symbols of modern Ireland.

The survey was conducted among 1,100 Irish-Americans and Irish people living in the U.S.

The results suggest that Ireland is likely to benefit from a huge boost as U.S. visitors choose the west of Ireland as they destination of choice.

The survey showed that 70 percent of respondents had visited Ireland in the past with the number of trips by each averaging out at five. One of five said they planned to visit Ireland over the coming year, while two thirds said they would more than likely visit Ireland in 2012 and almost half listed Galway as their favorite destination.

Other popular destinations included Dublin ( 65 percent).; Cork (44 percent) and Donegal (31 percent). Westmeath proved to be the most unpopular spot for tourists..

Of the 20 percent of those who said they intended to visit Ireland this year, three in five said they would stay for between one and three weeks.