In a major coup for Irish tourism, an ancient wonder of the world – the Pyramids of Giza – went green last night for the first time ever, joining a host of other landmarks and iconic sites around the world for Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘global greening’ initiative to celebrate St Patrick this weekend.
Almost 70 landmark buildings and iconic sites around the world have already gone, or are set to go, green this weekend. The latest addition to the ever-growing list is Anfield stadium – home to Liverpool FC. In fact, Anfield is just one of three football stadiums which are planning to go green for our national day. The others include the landmark Allianz Arena in Munich, home ground to FC Bayern Munich (which is normally white, red or blue!) and the Friends Arena in Stockholm, venue of the upcoming World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Sweden.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we’re delighted to be continuing our ’greening’ initiative for the fourth year, with lots of new additions like the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and now Anfield Stadium in Liverpool. Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world, while also showcasing our wonderful tourism offering to a huge global audience. Our message is that there has never been a better time to ‘Jump In’ and plan a visit to Ireland.”
Score for Tourism! On St Patrick’s Day – five days before the World Cup qualifier between Sweden and Ireland on 22 March – Stockholm’s Friends Arena will be going green. The stadium, which plays host on the afternoon of 17 March to Sweden’s bandy final, will be lit green in the presence of thousands of spectators. Bandy is an extremely popular winter sport, played on ice (a Swedish version of hurling!). Irish music and film footage will be played in the stadium and spectators will be encouraged to take part in an Ireland promotion on their mobile phones. In addition, an estimated 500,000 Swedes will be tuning in to the game on TV and be exposed to the Ireland message. The Friends Arena will remain green every night until 22 March, when Sweden takes on the Republic of Ireland in the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup; with plenty of exposure and ‘hype’ about Ireland through the media in Sweden, the match is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the island of Ireland as a wonderful holiday destination, as well as a top location for sporting events – and to encourage Swedish football fans to make the trip to Ireland this September for the return game in Dublin. Tourism Ireland is undertaking a busy promotional programme, to capitalise on the tourism potential the game offers, which includes targeting football fans through a competition in partnership with the Swedish FA, as well as online advertising on websites popular with soccer fans. Tourism Ireland has also invited influential Swedish travel trade and media to attend the game in Stockholm.
Tourism Ireland’s ‘global greening’ initiative will see major landmarks and iconic sites around the world go green over the coming days to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. These sites include the Sydney Opera House, the London Eye, Selfridges in London, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj al Arab in Dubai and the Prince’s Palace of Monaco.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
Tel: 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 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.