New York City

The Irish are still eager to bag a bargain in New York despite the economic downturn. In recent years New York has become a mecca for Irish tourists who jet in on getaway breaks in search of a good deal.

Last year the Big Apple witnessed a slight drop in footfall for Irish shoppers. But this year’s predictions expect shoppers to be coming back in force.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, NYC & Company’s Irish representative, John Donoghue said Tour America sent 15,000 Irish people to New York in 2009 and they are on target to increase this by 20% in 2010.

"Irish people are feeling the economic squeeze right now and now more than ever they are looking for value for money. With the combination of amazing savings in the shops, a reasonable exchange rate against the dollar and our fondness for all things New York city, 2010 is shaping up to be a bumper year for travel from Ireland to the city," said Mr Donoghue.

Jersey Gardens outlet mall in New Jersey has always been a popular destination for Irish tourists. Foreign shoppers account for 20% to 30% of the malls visitors with Irish people making up a significant proportion of this.

Diarmuid O’Sullivan, the Vice president of Tourism Development in New York, is also optimistic about this year’s figures. He pointed out that despite last year’s decrease in numbers, Irish tourists spent more on average than in previous years.

He said  combination of low cost airline fares and hotel packages make New York the ultimate shopping destination.