‘Done It All in Donegal?…Think Again, as Lonely Planet Highlights ‘The Forgotten County’!

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Donegal has been named the fourth-best region in the world to visit in 2024 by Lonely Planet, coming in ahead of places like Southern Thailand, the Swahili Coast in Tanzania and Montana in the US.

A sheep at the Slieve League cliffs in Ireland.

The leading travel media company unveiled the accolade today in the prestigious Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024 – its collection of the world’s hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the coming year.

Donegal is described in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024 as having “the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Sliabh Liag, at 601m (1972ft), and miles of unspoilt coastal hiking trails along the Wild Atlantic Way”. The guide also saysthat “Its ancient forts, musical traditions and rich heritage of the Irish language also make it an immersive experience for the curious visitor”.

Welcoming the news, Alice Mansergh, Chief Executive Designate of Tourism Ireland, said: “It’s really great news that Donegal has been named the fourth-best region in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024. It will surely help inspire international travellers to put Donegal and Ireland on their holiday wish-list for next year. It’s another well-deserved accolade which will help position us well for 2024 and set us apart from competitor destinations. I would like to extend my thanks to Lonely Planet and my congratulations to all the tourism and hospitality providers in beautiful Donegal.”

Tourism Ireland said it will take every opportunity to maximise this accolade for Donegal and Ireland, over the coming weeks and months. Activity to spread the good news will include:

  • a major PR and publicity push to top travel and lifestyle journalists around the world;
  • working with travel photographers Hannes Becker (1.9 million followers on Instagram) and Jonas Fellenstein (108,000 followers on Instagram), who will share great Donegal content;
  • lots of promotion on social media, including posts on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has 4.7 million fans worldwide), Instagram (over 1.1 million followers) and Twitter (563,000 followers);
  • a page on Tourism Ireland’s international website, Ireland.com, with the Lonely Planet Best in Travel logo; and
  • highlighting the accolade at major travel fairs like the upcoming World Travel Market in London, the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar.

The island of Ireland has been particularly successful in the prestigious Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel accolade over the years. Previous accolades have included Dublin being declared the 7th-best city in the world to visit in 2022; the Burren Ecotourism Network being named a ‘Best Community Tourism Project’ for 2021; Galway being declared the fourth-best city in the world to visit in 2020; Belfast and the Causeway Coast named the Number One Region in the world to visit in 2018; the Skellig Ring drive being named a Top Ten Region to visit in 2017; Dublin named the third-best city in the world to visit in 2016; and Ireland being declared the fifth-best country in the world to visit in 2015.

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