Ireland is no longer a prohibitively expensive tourist destination, according to Irish Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar.

Varadkar spoke at the British launch of The Gathering 2013, a Tourism Ireland plan to draw vacationers with ancestral Irish roots with events across the country next year, RTÉ reported.

The initiative announcement, which was intentionally meant to overlap with the London Olympics, is part of an effort to draw British tourists back to Ireland for holidays.

Although Britain remains the largest market for Tourism Ireland, the number of Britons visiting Ireland has recently declined.

However, according to Varadkar, it may still take time for public perception of Ireland as too expensive to wane. 

The Gathering, marketed towards the “Irish born, Irish bred, or Irish in spirit,” aims to tempt the Irish diaspora of 70 million back to the home country with festivals and family reunions, according to its website. The website’s list of featured festivals, however, include many that occur annually, not specifically for The Gathering itself.

Check out The Gathering’s patriotic promotional video here:


Irish Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar says Ireland is no longer an expensive vacation destinationGoogle Images