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Tourism Ireland’s biggest ever
St Patrick’s Day programme reaches 60+ million

In March 2021, we rolled out our biggest ever St Patrick’s Day programme of promotions around the world. Against the ongoing backdrop of COVID-19, the programme was more important than ever before. During this challenging time, we wanted to mark St Patrick’s Day and to keep the island of Ireland to the fore in a really positive light. 

A record-breaking 725 sites in 71 different countries lit up in green. And our virtual promotions brought St Patrick and the island of Ireland into the homes and minds of overseas consumers, reminding them that Ireland is the perfect place to visit, when the time is right. Our paid campaign reached around 60 million people around the world. And we reached many, many more through huge positive international media coverage – in print, broadcast, online and social media.

An ‘Orchestra of Light’ wishes the world a Happy St Patrick’s Day

A spectacular aerial light show – featuring a swarm of 500 drones animating the skies of Dublin – was shared by Tourism Ireland, to wish the world a Happy St Patrick’s Day. The film, called ‘Orchestra of Light’, was created by St Patrick’s Festival, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council. Tourism Ireland shared the film with our fans and followers on social media around the world, as well as with our database of international news and travel journalists. The video garnered huge international media coverage, including on the likes of,, TV 2 in Denmark, the Guardian online and ZDF (national TV) in Germany.

Biggest ever Global Greening lights up the world

A record-breaking 725 sites and landmarks in 71 countries around the world turned green for St Patrick’s Day – all part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. At a time when Irish people overseas cannot travel home, we wanted to shine a green light in as many locations around the world as possible, giving our Diaspora a sense of connection with home and reminding them that we cannot wait to ‘roll out the green carpet’ and welcome them back, as soon as it is possible to do so.
Our press release is here and a growing gallery of highlights is here.


Light a Green Candle

On the evening of 17 March, we asked people everywhere to join our Global Greening in their homes, by lighting a green candle and then sharing a photo on their social channels – to send a message of hope, friendship and solidarity. Thank you to all of our industry partners who joined this special #GlobalGreening. 


635,500 views for St Patrick’s Day at Home with Tourism Ireland

Everyone knows that the island of Ireland is the best place in the world to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. However, as overseas visitors can’t travel here for now, Tourism Ireland brought a taste of Ireland right into the homes of people everywhere, on the evening of 17 March. ‘St Patrick’s Day at Home with Tourism Ireland’ was hosted by TV presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh and livestreamed on social media from Johnnie Fox’s pub in the Dublin Mountains, as well as from Dick Mack’s in Dingle and the Duke of York in Belfast. The event was viewed 635,500 times on Facebook and YouTube and was even highlighted in Times Square in New York (left).

54 million views of St Patrick’s Day film narrated by Liam Neeson

We were delighted that actor Liam Neeson lent his voice to our new St Patrick’s film for 2021. The film included footage shot at locations like Dingle, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Derryclare Lough, Newgrange and Titanic Belfast. Tourism Ireland shared the film in 12 markets: Great Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, the Nordic countries, the GCC, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. The video was viewed almost 54 million times on social channels and on connected TV (i.e. connected to the internet).

Social buzz for Ireland

We generated lots of chat on our social channels in the run-up to, and on, St Patrick’s Day – with posts about great recipes from Ireland, lots of UGC (user-generated content), a video called ‘5 St Patrick’s Day Facts’ and even a fun quiz about St Patrick!


A ‘green message’ for our key travel trade and media contacts

A huge programme of travel trade and media engagement also took place. Our St Patrick’s media pack was sent to 23,000 international travel and lifestyle journalists. Fun gift boxes from Ireland were sent to key travel trade, influencers and journalists. A media event took place at the ‘greened’ Palm Fountain in Dubai; and lots of virtual events happened in other markets. And a satellite media tour, with live interviews with some of our ‘tourism ambassadors’, ran on 20+ TV stations across the US.

St Patrick’s Toolkit targets repeat visitors

We know from our research that repeat visitors are likely to be the first to return. Our St Patrick’s Toolkit was designed for you, our industry partners, to target your previous overseas visitors, via email marketing or on social. The toolkit included lots of great photos, videos, digital gifs, Zoom backgrounds, Instagram filters and St Patrick’s Day messages in different languages – available to download and share with previous international clients. In total, our toolkit was downloaded over 1,000 times. And, over 22,000 of our St Patrick’s Day greeting cards were posted by our industry partners around the island of Ireland to their previous international clients.