In a major coup for Irish tourism, an ancient wonder of the world – the Pyramids of Giza – and a modern wonder of the world – the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil – are set to go green for the first time ever on St Patrick’s Day 2013, joining a host of other major landmarks and iconic sites around the world in Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘global greening’ initiative.
Other newcomers going green for the first time include the famous ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, HMS Belfast in London, City Hall in Houston, Texas, the Citadel in Jordan, the Tower of Hercules (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Galicia in Spain), the futuristic new EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam, the International School in Bonn and the Allianz Arena in Munich (home ground of FC Bayern Munich).
Tourism Ireland announced details of some of the famous attractions and sites around the world which will go green to mark St Patrick’s Day, kicking off the organisation’s major first half promotional drive to grow overseas tourism in 2013. The new sites will join some ‘old favourites’ which have gone green in previous years on 17 March – including the Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, Burj al Arab in Dubai, Table Mountain in South Africa, the Empire State Building in New York, Burg Theater (City Hall) in Vienna, the Sky Tower in New Zealand and the TV tower in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz.
“Even the Pharaohs are going green this year to mark The Gathering,” Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said. “This is a major coup for Irish tourism with more major landmarks like the ancient Pyramids of Giza, the revered Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil and the home ground of Bayern Munich turning green for 2013. It’s the fourth year of the ‘global greening’ initiative and Tourism Ireland will now kick off its first major promotional campaign for 2013 in the key markets of Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and new markets like China, India and South America. We’ll be using every opportunity to send out the message that Ireland is the place to visit in 2013, including through the visit of major global media outlets to Dublin on 17 March. Irish landmarks will also be going green including Leinster House, St Stephen’s Green, the Four Courts and Charles Fort in Kinsale, with further announcements likely.”
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland’s ‘global greening’ initiative is stepping up a pace this year, with some famous additions like the Pyramids of Giza, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas and the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen – and there are a few others that we’ll be keeping up our sleeves until closer to the day. We are absolutely delighted that so many well-known sites and attractions are eager to come on board with us and join in our celebrations. The success of our ‘global greening’ is due in no small part to the great work that has been carried out across the world by Irish people down the generations and, in particular, to the great support we’ve received from Irish ambassadors and the Diaspora. The eagerness to take part underlines the strength of the deep spiritual connection that people everywhere feel to Ireland – a major boost in this special year of The Gathering Ireland. Over 70 million people around the world claim links with the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.
“People across the world instantly identify St Patrick’s Day with the island of Ireland and that heightened profile allows us to put the Ireland holiday experience in the spotlight – from Sydney to London and Stockholm to Las Vegas. Our St Patrick’s programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia, as well as developing markets such as China, India and South Africa. There will be saturation coverage of the island of Ireland across the airwaves, in newspapers and digital media – and that’s an invaluable boost for our overall tourism marketing drive this year.”
In Great Britain, our largest and most important tourism market, major sites including HMS Belfast in London will ‘go green’ on St Patrick's Day; other buildings set to change colour include Manchester Town Hall and the Clyde Auditorium, affectionately known as ‘the Armadillo’, in Glasgow. Online travel agencies are also getting in on the act – the homepage of lastminute.com in GB will be ‘greened’ on 17 March; and The Gathering Ireland will be highlighted on specially ‘greened’ taxis for the month of March in London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester. And Tourism Ireland, together with the Greater London Authority, will promote The Gathering and holidays to Ireland at this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Trafalgar Square, in London.
In North America, the world-famous ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas and City Hall in Houston, Texas, will go green for the first time ever – joining other major landmarks like Niagara Falls (on both the Canadian and the US sides), the Empire State Building in New York, the Chicago and San Antonio Rivers, the famous White House fountains, as well as San Francisco’s Coit Tower, City Hall and Ferry Building Marketplace. Tourism Ireland has a host of consumer and trade promotions taking place around St Patrick’s Day and throughout the spring in the US, including sponsoring live coverage of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade on NBC, with film clips on Ireland.
In Europe – also for the first time ever – Tourism Ireland has arranged for the Allianz Arena in Munich (home ground to Bayern Munich) and the famous Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen to go green on 17 March. Other new ‘greenings’ for 2013 include the Tower of Hercules in Galicia, in Spain (a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Romans 1,900 years ago – legend has it that you can see Ireland from the top!); and the futuristic new EYE film institute in Amsterdam. These are in addition to other well-known sites which will take on a green hue, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the Fernsehturn (television tower) in Berlin, Odeonsplatz in central Munich and the ‘Lighthouse’ in Düsseldorf – grabbing the attention of potential visitors in those cities. Tourism Ireland is also inviting all Irish pubs and travel agents around Germany to ‘green’ their windows and shop-fronts around 17 March. Using a variety of material supplied by Tourism Ireland, the pubs and travel agents will compete to win the prize for the best ‘green’ windows this St Patrick’s Day.
Tourism Ireland is also working to attract more high-spending visitors from emerging tourism markets. In Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue will go green for the first time on St Patrick’s Day. And, in a major coup for Irish tourism, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx in Egypt will also go green. Once again this year, the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai will go green, as will South Africa’s Table Mountain – a World Heritage Site and one of Cape Town’s most iconic landmarks and visitor attractions. ‘Down under’, the Sydney Opera House and Auckland’s Sky Tower are also planning to go green again, in honour of St Patrick’s Day 2013.
International journalists – representing top media outlets from around the globe – will visit Ireland, taking in the Dublin St Patrick’s Day parade during their time here. And Tourism Ireland will also exploit the profile of St Patrick’s Day with media worldwide – sending images, video footage and news about Ireland to news desks around the world, as well as to its database of 22,000+ influential travel and lifestyle media contacts.
Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport Leo Varadkar (left) with Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland CEO, at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s St Patrick's Day 2013 programme.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
t: 087-685 9027
Jasmine O’Brien, Tourism Ireland
t: 01-476 3425
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 2012, an estimated 7.27 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.51 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, currently rolling out in 11 different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
• ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, consisting 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, working closely with the ‘Gathering’ project team.