Tourism Ireland predicts that some 8.2 million people will visit Ireland in 2016, as tourism continues to grow on a record-breaking 2015.
It is expected that over eight million people will have visited Ireland by year's end, the best year ever for Irish tourism. And Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, has predicted that events to be held in 2016 will see that number increase by four per cent.
Ireland's Ancient East, which will hope to replicate the Wild Atlantic Way's success, will be promoted overseas with a video campaign starting in January. The video will be shown in 23 markets as well as the millions of fans on Tourism Ireland's various social media outlets.
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It is also expected that the exposure that the country will get through the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – which was partly filmed in Skellig Michael - will help boost visitor numbers in the same way that Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones has done for New Zealand and Northern Ireland, respectively.
Also, increased connectivity through all of Ireland's major airports, including new direct routes from Dublin to Los Angeles and Cork to Madrid, will help boost tourism al over the country.