The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil will ‘go green’ for the first time ever, to mark St Patrick’s Day in 2013. The announcement was made yesterday evening by President Michael D Higgins, the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro Orani João Tempesta and Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons, during the President’s official visit to South America, during which he is promoting ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’.
For the past three years, Tourism Ireland has arranged for major landmarks and iconic sites around the world to ‘go green’ on St Patrick’s Day – including the London Eye, Burj Al Arab in Dubai, Table Mountain in South Africa and Niagara Falls in the US – kicking off the organisation’s annual promotional drive around the world.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Our ‘greening’ initiative has really captured the imagination of people everywhere and we are delighted to announce the addition of the famous South American landmark – the Christ the Redeemer statue – for 2013, the year of ‘The Gathering Ireland’. Our aim is to bring a smile to the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and tremendous fun, as well as wonderful scenery and rich and diverse cultural activities. Our St Patrick’s programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia, as well as emerging tourism markets such as Brazil, China and India.”
Further Media Information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland 087-685 9027
Notes 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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+4% on 2010), delivering revenue of approximately €3.4 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent. In 2011, discoverireland.com attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ will be Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative and will consist of a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings in every part of the country.
• Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ around the world this autumn, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.