A new survey, the first ever of the Irish American community in America, has highlighted huge demand among Irish Americans for Irish tourism, education, products and services.

The survey was undertaken between 30 November and 6th December 2010. It forms part of a joint research programme launched today by the leading Irish market research company Amarach Research and the leading Irish American website irishcentral.com.

Among the findings of the first survey which polled 2,400 respondents were:

- Although 90% of the survey respondents are American born, they still have a huge emotional connection with Ireland (average score of 7.7 out of 10).
- 64% go online weekly to find out what is happening in Ireland .
- Of those who have visited Ireland (1,800),  92% score Ireland as an excellent destination and 80%  believe that it is better than other destinations visited.  However 90% believed that the cost of flights was a negative factor.
- Of those with chlldren 53% would consider sending their children to Ireland to study whie 55 per cent are interested in distance learning Irish studies from an Irish college.

Commenting on the findings Michael McLoughlin, Chief Executive of Amárach Research said: “As a Country we face immense challenges and one solution is to find markets abroad for Irish products.  This survey demonstrates the huge potential of the Irish American Market.  Our American diaspora are extremely connected to us emotionally, they know what is going on and the survey clearly demonstrates that they want to buy more goods and services from us”.

Niall O’Dowd, the publisher of Irishcentral.com said: "I have always believed that there is a huge business opportunity among the Irish abroad.  This survey highlights some of the immediate wins that are possible over the next few months and years in the areas of tourism, education and for well known Irish brands."