Irish tourism and The Gathering have received a massive boost from the readers of USA Today.
America’s national newspaper has voted Ireland as a dream holiday destination in a new poll.
The Emerald Isle features alongside Italy as Ireland throws its doors open to the Diaspora for The Homecoming.
USA Today has declared Ireland one of five ‘buzz-worthy destinations’ in 2013 in the survey.
The Irish Independent reports that Americans found it rivals Italy on their holiday wish-list.
The Gathering marketing campaign promoting thousands of local events in Ireland this year is clearly making an impact.
The paper cites The Gathering as a reason for millions of people with Irish ancestry to consider a return to the ‘Auld Sod’.
Ireland is up there with Burma, Florida, Gettysburg and Hawaii as one of the most happening destinations in 2013 according to the report.
The Irish Independent says that the ‘USA Today’/Gallup poll of 1,038 US adults found that while there’s no place like home for 94pc of Americans planning a holiday this year, one-third of them are also planning a trip abroad during 2013.
The USA Today article said: “When asked where they’d visit if money was no object, nearly one-third of those polled mentioned Europe with Italy and Ireland leading the pack.
“While Ireland has seen its share of doom and gloom in the last few years, The Gathering did offer a year-long celebration of all things gaelic.
“So what better way to banish the Emerald Isle’s economic blues than by inviting the estimated 70 million who claim Irish ancestry to return to the Auld Sod for a bit of frivolity?”
Burma, Florida and Hawaii are also on the list as the dream destination of most Americans.
Failte Ireland is set to outline its projections for tourism in 2013 on Thursday after a disappointing year in 2012 when the number of British visitors fell.
Tourism chiefs will focus on The Gathering as a means of attracting extra visitors.