A €13m investment in the Gathering2013 had a €170m pay-off, according to organisers of the year-long event.
Organisers said that more than 250,000, and as many as 275,000 extra people visited Ireland especially for the tourism initiative, inspired by Scotland’s 2009 event, the Homecoming.
Project Director Jim Miley, who disclosed the preliminary figures, said some 5,000 specially-organised Gathering events were held across Ireland.
He warned against the temptation to repeat the event for fear of cheapening the brand and said it should not be held again any more frequently than every five years – if at all.
Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said he anticipates the upturn in visitor numbers will continue into 2104 and said there are now 20,000 more people working in tourism in Ireland than there were two years ago.
The organisers are hoping for a year-end boost to figures with a series of New Year’s Eve events.