Worldwide Tourism Push Gets the Green Light for St Patrick’s Day

17 Mar 2011

Iconic landmarks and buildings around the world are going green today for St Patrick’s Day, as part of the major push to restore overseas tourism to growth in 2011. 
Tourism Ireland, the organisation responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas, has arranged for major landmarks and iconic sites around the globe – including the London Eye, Table Mountain in South Africa, Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Moulin Rouge in Paris – to ‘go green’ in honour of St Patrick’s Day.

The first celebrations kicked off as the sun set in New Zealand, when the Sky Tower in Auckland was bathed in green light.  And in Australia, Tourism Ireland capitalised on this month’s Australian tour of Riverdance, with an attention-grabbing ‘flashmob’ of Irish dancers bringing a smile to peoples’ faces in the centre of Sydney.  The ‘green wave’ continues, with Burj Al Arab in Dubai and Table Mountain in South Africa next to turn green; then it’s the turn of the Moulin Rouge in Paris, the Puerta de Alcalá monument in Madrid and the London Eye; followed a few hours later by the Empire State Building in New York and the CN Tower in Toronto.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said that the response to the organisation’s ‘greening’ idea has been phenomenal everywhere.  “Our ‘greening’ initiative continues this year, with some famous additions like Table Mountain in South Africa, the Moulin Rouge in Paris and Burj Al Arab in Dubai.  We aim to bring a smile to the world and to convey the message that Ireland continues to offer a warm welcome, fun and spontaneity, alongside fantastic scenery and cultural activities.  Our St Patrick’s programme spans Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia, as well as developing markets like China, India and South Africa.  We are using every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile this week; the saturation coverage about Ireland across the global airwaves, in newspapers and digital media, is an invaluable boost for our overall tourism marketing drive.”

The ‘greening’ initiative was organised by Tourism Ireland as part of its biggest ever global promotional programme of activities to showcase the island of Ireland on St Patrick’s Day around the world and to kick off a major €28 million spring promotional drive to restore overseas tourism to growth.  

Moulin Rouge, Paris.

Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid

Burj Al Arab, Dubai.



Further information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
T: 01-476 3493/ 087-685 9027

Note to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• Approximately 6.6 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 20 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.



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