Galway has been named the fourth best city in the world to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet. The travel media company described Galway as "brilliantly bohemian" and "arguably Ireland's most engaging city".

The accolade comes as the city prepares for its year as European Capital of Culture, which Lonely Planet describes as a "city-wide, arty party".

Tourism Ireland had been made aware of Galway's good news in advance, and is ready to roll out a promotional campaign across Britain, the US, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

"We have a new video highlighting Galway and the programme for 2020," Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said.

"We have extensive social media work going on with our 5 million fans around the globe, and it will feature on which has 23 million unique visitors every year."

Will there be a Lonely Planet effect? Are hotels and restaurants likely to see more tourists as a result of Lonely Planet naming Galway one of the best cities in the world to visit next year?

Mr Gibbons thinks so. "I was in Galway twice over the past few weeks and I think the tangible impact of Galway 2020 is very visible. The team have put together a super programme, and the Lonely Planet accolade really puts us in a very strong position, with a great hook for Galway, as we head into the booking cycle now for 2020 in the months ahead."

Top ten cities in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2020 are:

Salzburg, Austria
Washington DC, USA
Cairo, Egypt
Bonn, Germany
La Paz, Bolivia
Kochi, India
Vancouver, Canada
Dubai, UAE
Denver, USA