The challenge has been firmly set for Westmeath tourism, as a survey revealed that Westmeath is the least likely county to be targeted by Irish American tourists.
Just 1 per cent of those surveyed by the Irish American website said they would target Westmeath as a stop-off point on a visit to Ireland, in stark contrast to the most popular destination, Dublin, which 65 per cent of respondents were eager to visit. Meanwhile 55 per cent said they would visit Galway, 44 per cent Cork, and 31 per cent Donegal.
The survey, posted on the IrishCentral.com site, was conducted among 1,100 Irish Americans and Irish people living in the US.
The main motivations for visiting Ireland were revealed to be exploring the country and seeing the sights (70 per cent ) and visiting relatives (51 per cent ).
Almost 40 per cent will take the opportunity to trace their ancestry while visiting; however the above statistic implies that few American accents will be heard across Westmeath.
The survey revealed that ties to Ireland remain strong, with seven in 10 respondents having visited Ireland in the past, with each respondent visiting an average of five times.
Just one in five will visit this year; however, prospects for 2012 look bright and a surprisingly strong two-thirds (65 per cent ) of respondents say they would be likely to visit in 2012.
While just 3 per cent of Irish Americans own property in Ireland, an additional 33 per cent would be interested in purchasing here, with Galway, Kerry, Cork, Clare, Donegal, and Dublin the most popular locations.