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16 Dec 2015

Ireland to feel ‘The Force’! Tourism Ireland unveils new Star Wars campaign

This week’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – which features Skellig Michael – presents Tourism Ireland with a truly unique opportunity to highlight the South West and Ireland in 2016. The organisation will launch the first phase of its special Star Wars campaign tomorrow (Thursday, 17 December), targeting fans of the science fiction franchise everywhere.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the most anticipated film of the year and Tourism Ireland plans to take every opportunity to maximise the Star Wars connection with Ireland over the coming weeks and months. Its campaign will be rolled out in 14 different markets – including Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordic region, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and the GCC.

Activity will include:
  • a specially created page on Tourism Ireland’s international website, Ireland.com, which has attracted about 16.5 million visitors this year;
  • extensive social activity, with posts on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has 3.33 million fans worldwide) and Twitter (317,000+ followers); and
  • a major PR and publicity push to Tourism Ireland’s 20,000+ international media contacts.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: "I would like to wish Tourism Ireland every success with this marketing initiative. The new Star Wars film is widely expected to be one of the most viewed films in history. Having Ireland's magnificent scenery featuring in the film provides a tremendous boost for us and I know that Tourism Ireland will fully maximise the opportunities the film presents. 2015 has been a wonderful year for Irish tourism and initiatives like this can ensure that the positive momentum is maintained into 2016 and beyond."

TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on travellers everywhere, with up to 35% of people being impacted in their choice of destination by what they see on screen.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “A hugely popular name like Star Wars filming here will bring the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people around the world. It’s a really effective way to reach mass audiences, helping to significantly boost awareness of the Skelligs, the South West and Ireland in general, providing a global platform for Ireland as a holiday destination and whetting peoples’ appetites to come and visit.”

The second phase of Tourism Ireland’s Star Wars campaign will be unveiled in early 2016.

Tourism Ireland liaises closely with the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen, to attract and facilitate film-making in Ireland; Tourism Ireland’s work in this area also involves maximising the promotional opportunities of popular films and TV programmes filmed on location here. A recent example includes Tourism Ireland’s successful campaign with HBO this spring, to leverage the huge global popularity of Game of Thrones, filmed on location in Northern Ireland.

 

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.
  • By the end of 2015, we will have welcomed 7.9 million overseas visitors to Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.2 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.