Gathering to increase tourism here by 5%

It's hoped the Gathering initiative next year will boost tourism numbers by 5 percent.

According to the latest report from the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, there were close to 6.5 million visitors from overseas in 2012.

There were 2 percent increases recorded in those coming from Europe and the US, while the British market suffered a drop of 4 percent.

John Healy - chairman of the I-T-I-C - says economic difficulties and depressed consumer confidence had a knock-on effect on the industry, but the outlook for 2013 is positive: