A massive audience of almost 5 million American TV viewers saw fantastic images of Dublin and Ireland when they tuned in to the hugely popular Ellen DeGeneres Show last night.
In a major coup for Irish tourism, Ellen sent presenter Andy Zenor to Ireland last week to join in and film our St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Ellen tweeted about Andy’s time in Ireland to her 10+ million followers (@TheEllenShow) – saying “I sent Andy Zenor to Ireland for St Patrick’s Day. Had I known it would be this much fun, I would’ve gone with him” and including a link to the footage. In the broadcast which aired in the US last night, Andy described the people he met here as “amazing” and the visit to Ireland as “the trip of a lifetime”. The footage can be viewed on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/Ellen (Andy Zenor in Ireland).
Tourism Ireland estimates that the broadcast was worth more than €2 million in advertising value. Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “The Ellen Show on the NBC network is hugely popular in the US and this broadcast was a fantastic opportunity to spread the good news about Ireland to a huge audience of millions of viewers – or potential American holidaymakers for Ireland.
“2011 was one of the strongest years ever for tourism to Ireland from the United States and Tourism Ireland is aiming to make 2012 our best year ever! We are undertaking strong campaigns in the US, which are highlighting great value and urging consumers to ‘jump into Ireland’ and to include Ireland in their vacation plans for 2012. In our promotions, we promise potential visitors an experience that will be unique, full of engagement and great fun – which was certainly demonstrated by Andy Zenor on The Ellen Show. With great access and attractive on-the-ground offers, we believe the island of Ireland is well positioned to deliver what an American holidaymaker wants.”
Arrangements on the ground for Andy’s visit were put in place by Fáilte Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse. The fun footage shows Andy strolling through the streets of Dublin in his green shorts! He visited the Guinness Storehouse where he got to pull a pint, enjoyed some Irish dancing and learned how to make some Guinness chocolate mousse. The show also shows Andy enjoying the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin (where he spotted President Michael D Higgins).
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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.
• In 2011, approximately 7.3 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland (+6% 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.