They reveal that 70% of providers lowered their prices and reduced operating costs last year in a bid to remain far more competitive.

Just before 2011 ended, it was announced that Ireland had a spike in 6% of visitors. The organisation predicted that many Irish people will holiday at home this year and they plan to promote home holidaying, as well as Britain being their key destination.

It said that while the perception of value has been an issue for British visitors in recent years, better offers from the trade and a weakening of the euro have helped.

Fáilte Ireland also predict an increase in visitors from the USA and mainland Europe.

Fáilte Ireland's CEO, Shaun Quinn, said the tourism industry was now in good shape to fight for business in the year ahead.

''Any downturn in the global economy - or even significant fears about a downturn - has the potential to undermine the fragile recovery made so far in Irish tourism'', he said.