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13 Mar 2015

Minister Damien English lends a hand to boost tourism from Denmark

Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, was in Denmark this week, as part of a ‘Promote Ireland’ programme around St Patrick's Day – helping to promote tourism to Ireland in 2015.

The visit by Minister English coincided with the ‘greening’ of the Kalvebod Brygge waves in Copenhagen Harbour. The Kalvebod Brygge was designed by an Irish/Danish architectural agency, Urban Agency – and given that Tourism Ireland is placing a major focus on ID2015 and the celebration of Irish design this year, it is particularly appropriate that this is the Danish icon to join Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative 2015.  

Tourism Ireland’s St Patrick’s 2015 programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as emerging tourism markets like China, India, the Middle East and South Africa. More than 130 landmark buildings and iconic sites around the world will be going green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. In Scandinavia, as well as the Kalvebod Brygge, the sites joining Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening this year include the Fram polar exploration ship in Oslo and the Ericsson Globe (indoor arena) in Stockholm.

Damian English TD, Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, said: “2014 was a record year for visitor numbers from Denmark to Ireland, with almost 60,000 visitors, up 11% on the previous year. Initiatives like Irish Design 2015 and new access developments will help this trend continue for 2015. The Greening in Copenhagen of an iconic site joins many others across the world. This is symbolic of the great friendship that exists between Ireland and so many countries. These Greenings present us with an invaluable opportunity to deepen existing friendships, strengthen awareness of Ireland and our rich heritage, and forge new ties’.

Aileen Hickey, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Nordic region, said: “We are delighted that Minister English was with us in Denmark for the important St Patrick’s period, to help us deliver the message about the many great reasons to visit Ireland this year. Visitor numbers from Denmark grew by about +11% in 2014 and Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions under way in 2015, to keep the momentum going and build on that growth.

“Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative is even bigger and better this year, with some famous additions like the Colosseum in Rome and the Sacré Cœur basilica in Paris. Our aim is to bring a smile to the world and to convey the message that the island of Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as fantastic scenery and cultural activities.”

Tourism Ireland’s busy programme of promotions in Denmark this year includes co-operative activity with key partners like Aer Lingus and Ryanair – including print and online campaigns with both airlines this spring to highlight, and drive demand for, flights from Copenhagen to Dublin. The organision is also working with some of the main Danish online travel agencies, like eTRAVELi, promoting good value holidays and weekend breaks in Ireland. Tourism Ireland is very active on social media in Scandinavia, with more than 50,000 Facebook fans and 2,200 followers on Twitter. The organisation also operates a busy, year-round programme of PR and publicity, which includes press trips to Ireland for key travel and lifestyle journalists, as well as the distribution of regular e-newsletters and press releases.

  Minister Damien English (centre) with members of the Lokes Friemand Viking re-enactment group; Aileen Hickey, Tourism Ireland (third left); HE Clíona Manahan, Irish Ambassador to Denmark; and Rikke Aagaard Petersen, Tourism Ireland, at the Kalvebod Brygge in Copenhagen Harbour, which was illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

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 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, attracted about 14.25 million visitors.