As the world gears up for St Patrick’s Day, the famous ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign turned green last night, kicking off this weekend’s celebrations and Tourism Ireland’s ‘Global Greening’ 2013 initiative.
Green bulbs have been installed around the iconic sign by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority specially for the St Patrick’s weekend and it will remain ‘greened’ until Monday evening (18 March). Television presenter Kathryn Thomas flew to Las Vegas to join the city’s mayor, a group of Las Vegas show girls and local members of the Irish Diaspora, to oversee the turning on of the green light bulbs.
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the famous ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas is joining our St Patrick’s celebrations this year. This is the fourth year of Tourism Ireland’s ‘global greening’ and there are lots of other new landmarks coming on board, including the Pyramids of Giza, Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, Gorky Park in Moscow, Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, the Merlion statue in Singapore and the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; 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.”
“We are pleased to partner with our friends at Tourism Ireland on their ‘Global Greening’ initiative,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Celebrating St Patrick’s Day is a longstanding American tradition, and there’s no better place to celebrate than in Las Vegas.”
Kathryn Thomas said: “I am delighted to be in Las Vegas, it is unquestionably the Entertainment Capital of the world and I am very proud to be part of the first ever ‘greening’ of the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. It’s shaping up to be some celebration!”
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.