An new in-depth report examining the impact of tourism in Co. Kerry has found that 20 per cent of people in the county are reliant on its €420 million a year tourism industry.
The study was conducted by the Destination Kerry Tourism Forum and highlighted that The Kingdom's accommodation and hospitality sector currently employs more than 9,000 people and welcomed over 1 million overseas visitors last year, reports the Irish Examiner.
It also showed that the county is a favourite among Irish tourists too, with domestic tourism accounting for almost 700,000 visitors.
One third of American visitors to Ireland include Kerry in their itinerary, no doubt as a result of Skellig Michael appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and are described as being “the most valuable visitors” since they generate 40 per cent of overseas income, according to Joan McCarthy, head of the county council's tourism unit.
Kerry currently has a capacity of 50,000 tourist beds, the largest number outside of Dublin, however only 20,000 of those are in the 'formal approved sector'.
It's hoped that a new business link with Austria will help increase tourism numbers according to Tourism Officer John Griffin.