Ireland's Central Statistics Office recently announced that in the first 6 months of 2011, almost 3 million visitors arrived through Irish airports and ports. This is an increase from 2.6 million in 2010, confirming 'a more positive picture overall than this time last year'.
|The Rock of Cashel, in South Tipperary|
The recent figures have also solidified the relationship between Ireland and the US. Visitors from the United States have increased by 17% with 462, 400 more visitors in the first half of this year.
During his visit in May, US President Barack Obama spoke about the bond between the US and the country of his ancestry:
'This little country that inspires the biggest triumphs - - in America and Ireland alike - - are still to come'
With Ireland's tourism industry facing a new prosperity, there have been discussions to open up new routes to Ireland from the US, making it easier for people on the West Coast to visit the home of their ancestors.
'Americans spend more and stay longer than other nationalities, and anyone in Ireland can tell you they are the lynchpin of the modern tourist industry'
- Irish Central