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17 Jan 2020

Painting the town red!

~ Dublin buildings light up in red to celebrate Chinese New Year ~

For the fifth year in a row, some of Dublin’s best-known buildings will be lighting up in red to mark the 2020 Chinese New Year and to welcome the Year of the Rat – which officially begins next week (Chinese New Year’s Day falls on Saturday, 25 January this year). The illumination has been organised by the Dublin Chinese New Year Festival in conjunction with Dublin City Council.

Numerous civic buildings and other sites around Dublin will be illuminated in red – including the Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin City Council Civic Offices in Wood Quay, Dublin City Hall, The Mansion House, The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD), the Pearse Lyons Distillery, the Westin Hotel, Carmichael House and the Guinness Storehouse.

Tourism Ireland in China will share images of the various sites lit up in red – via its social platforms (around 400,000‬ followers on the microblogging platform Weibo and over 40,000 on Tencent’s WeChat messaging app) – highlighting our rich heritage to potential Chinese visitors and demonstrating a symbol of friendship between Ireland and China.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted that Chinese New Year is being celebrated in Dublin once again this year, with some of our historic civic buildings and visitor attractions lighting up in red. The illumination indicates a gesture of genuine friendship and a desire to further enhance the positive relations between China and Ireland.

“China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years. In 2019, Tourism Ireland announced its intention to double its marketing investment in China, to €1 million, and to also double its marketing team to 12 – to grow Chinese visitor numbers to 200,000 by 2025.”  

Tourism Ireland has a strong network in China, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The organisation’s activity in China involves establishing and building relationships with influential intermediaries, including the travel trade, airlines and media – highlighting our natural attractions, cities, castles and proximity to Britain. The Chinese version of Tourism Ireland’s international website is; and social media is also increasingly important in helping to raise awareness of the island of Ireland in this mobile-dominant country.
Tom Brabazon, Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin; Ms Xia Lining, wife of ambassador; HE He Xiangdong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Ireland; and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at the illumination of the Samuel Beckett Bridge and The Convention Centre Dublin in red.

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 2019, we welcomed almost 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of around €5.8 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 23+ million visitors in 2019.