Ireland has been voted the best travel destination in the whole of Europe

Ireland has been voted the best travel destination in the whole of Europe

IRELAND has been crowned 'Best European Destination' at the Group Travel Awards in London.

Ireland topped the list ahead of runner-up Germany and saw off competition from the likes of Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

The award was presented to representatives of Tourism Ireland at the awards ceremony at the Park Plaza Riverside hotel in London.

It's the third year in a row that Ireland has taken the title at the annual ceremony, which recognises the best destinations, events, accommodation, transport providers and attractions as voted by readers of Group Travel Organiser (GTO) Magazine.

Amy Riddell (second left) and Juno Thompson (centre), both Tourism Ireland, with the award for Best European Destination; also pictured are TV presenter Michaela Strachan (left); and Sarah Jeffery, organiser of The Group Travel Awards (right)

Other award winners included as Best Airline, Eurostar as Best Rail Operator and Kent as Best UK Destination.

The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin was runner-up to Disneyland Paris in the Best European Attraction category, with Titanic Belfast voted in sixth place.

Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: "We are delighted that Ireland has been voted 'Best European Destination' once again at the Group Travel Awards and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the group travel organisers who voted for us.

"Travellers nowadays have tremendous choice, which makes it more important than ever for us to ensure the island of Ireland stands out from other destinations – so this award is good news indeed, reminding group organisers around Britain that Ireland is the ideal choice."

Ireland saw 11 million tourists visit the country in 2018 (Image: iStock)

So if you and your friends or family are still thinking of a last-minute summer getaway, look no further than home!

Tourism Ireland is responsible for promoting Ireland as a prime holiday destination to those overseas.

The tourism industry in the country employs around 325,000 people and is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry.

In 2018, over 11 million people visited Ireland, 6% more than 2017’s figure.

To view all the Group Travel Awards 2019 winners click here