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17 Mar 2019

Minister Joe McHugh attends the ‘Greening’ of the Great Wall of China

Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, attended the switching on of the green lights at the Great Wall of China this evening (17 March). The iconic Chinese landmark was illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick and the island of Ireland. Minister McHugh is in China as part of a "Promote Ireland" programme around St Patrick's Day – helping to promote tourism to Ireland.
The Great Wall of China is just one of hundreds of famous buildings and sites around the world which are lighting up green for Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.
“We are delighted that Minister McHugh is in China, to help us deliver the message about the many great reasons to visit Ireland and also to attend the ‘greening’ of the Great Wall,” said James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in China. “Our Global Greening initiative has gone from strength to strength, with numerous sites and buildings here in China taking part this year – including the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and the Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre.
“St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us. Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of Chinese people and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as fantastic scenery and cultural activities.”
Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotional activity under way in China this spring, to continue to grow Chinese visitor numbers to Ireland this year. Activity includes co-operative promotions with Cathay Pacific and Hainan Airlines – to highlight ease of access to Ireland for Chinese travellers on the direct flights from Hong Kong and Beijing. Tourism Ireland’s 2019 sales mission to China will take place in May. A delegation of tourism enterprises from the island of Ireland will take part in the targeted mission to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou – where they will meet and do business with more than 400 influential Chinese travel professionals.

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 around 325,000 people across the island.
  • In 2018, we welcomed around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20.3 million visitors in 2018.