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06 Apr 2016

Tourism Ireland supports Star Wars: Force for Change fundraising campaign

Lucasfilm, the company which produced Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has announced the start of its 2016 “Force for Change” charitable initiative – offering Star Wars fans the chance to win a grand prize of a trip to Ireland, sponsored by Tourism Ireland in New York.  

In a special video announcement (click here to view), Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars legend Mark Hamill share the details of the latest “Force for Change” fundraising campaign. The short film includes details of the grand prize and footage of Skellig Michael – which Kathleen Kennedy describes as “the location of the dramatic final scene from The Force Awakens”.

This film clip will be widely promoted across all the Star Wars owned platforms in the United States over the coming weeks (including on Twitter, to its 2.19 million followers), as well as by the four charities associated with “Force for Change”. An extensive PR and publicity push by Lucasfilm is also helping to spread the word about the campaign – with the film already on the websites of USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter and

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be associated with Star Wars and its 2016 Force for Change campaign. Not only does the video showcase the magnificent scenery of Skellig Michael, it also highlights a truly worthwhile initiative and is a great way to support four different charities.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens has broken box office records around the world, bringing Skellig Michael and the Wild Atlantic Way to the attention of millions of people everywhere. Tourism Ireland has been taking every opportunity to capitalise on the publicity around the film, to help whet peoples’ appetites to come and visit.”

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. Tourism Ireland’s Star Wars campaign, to capitalise on the Irish connection with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has included:
  • a specially-commissioned ‘behind-the-scenes’ film, created during filming in 2014 on Skellig Michael – which has been viewed almost 830,000 times on YouTube;
  • a dedicated page on Tourism Ireland’s international website,, which has attracted about 16.5 million visitors this year;
  • extensive social activity, with posts on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has more than 3.4 million fans worldwide) and Twitter (323,000+ followers); and
  • a major PR and publicity push to Tourism Ireland’s 20,000+ international media contacts.

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 welcomed more than 8 million overseas visitors to Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.2 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which will attract about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.