For the first time in a decade, there will be a green Ireland float in the parade of this weekend’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The annual parade takes place on Saturday (7 March), with hundreds of thousands of spectators expected to line the parade route to see the marchers and floats.
The float – which will be led by our very own Panti Bliss – will be celebrating Ireland and its strong connections to Australia. It is supported by Tourism Ireland and the Irish Consulate in Sydney.
Diane Butler, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to support the Ireland float in the annual Mardi Gras parade. It’s another fun way to get people in Sydney talking about the island of Ireland – and to encourage them to ‘follow the rainbow’ to Ireland. Australia and New Zealand are important markets for tourism to the island of Ireland, given that these visitors tend to stay longer than other holidaymakers, typically up to twelve nights, they travel right around the island and many of them come here in the off-season.”
Panti Bliss said: “I am delighted to be in Australia and to be a part of the Ireland float. This is a great opportunity to highlight contemporary Ireland and its many spectacular and diverse festivals like ‘The Outing’ to the Australian Mardi Gras revellers.”
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 www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.