Cead Mile Failte for top five tourist slot
Ireland's selection as one of the top five countries in the world to visit next year is being celebrated by tourism businesses.
Ireland was in fifth place in the Top 10 Countries to visit in 2015 in a list published by global tourism bible Lonely Planet.
The annual 'Best in Travel' lists published by the Lonely Planet is read by hundreds of millions of people each year and has a real impact on raising visitor numbers to countries selected in the Top 10. It is the first time the entire country as been chosen for the top list in the yearbook, highlighting a warm welcome and hospitality of the Irish people.
Stunning scenery, the Wild Atlantic Way, and the nation's pubs were mentioned as some of the attractions.
Alfreda Kavanagh, whose family run John Kavanagh's pub, otherwise known as 'the Gravediggers' in Glasnevin, Dublin, said tourists will always respond to what they see as "authentic, natural and friendly".
The Dublin pub has itself been praised by Lonely Planet, even naming it as one of the top 50 secret spots in the world that tourists should visit.
"We've always found that visitors like the way Irish people welcome them and ask them about themselves," she said.
Singapore was named in Number One position in the annual list, followed by Namibia, Lithuania, Nicaragua and Ireland.
Meanwhile, the one millionth visitor to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience in 2014 was recorded for the first time.
Rita Shaw from Niceville, Florida, USA, on holiday with husband Stephen (inset), was greeted with a champagne reception before being presented with a certificate and a €5,000 prize return holiday to Co Clare.