2014’s St Patrick’s Festival attracted a record 7.74 million visitors, resulting in an additional nine percent of visitors taking a trip to Ireland. The rise in visitors for the 2014 festival was due to the €65,000 investment it received from Tourism Ireland which resulted in the “greening” of over 120 landmarks. This significant investment generated lots of positive international media coverage for Ireland, which was thought to be worth at least €10 million.
This year Tourism Ireland are hoping those planning to take a vacation in Ireland during the St. Patrick’s Festival will increase to 8 million visitors. To meet this target, Tourism Ireland have launched a “Global Greening” campaign as part of their promotional plans for 2015.
Plans for the Global Greening were revealed recently by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland. Plans for the 2015 “greening of landmarks” will see major landmarks from all over the world such as the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris to Dubai’s Burj al Arab bathed in green for St. Patrick’s Day.
Other landmarks set to get into the spirit of things are the Colosseum in Rome and the Sacré-Cœur in Paris as well as the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennesse and the famous Porte de Bourgogne in Bordeaux.60 landmarks from all over the world have signed up for 2015 however that figure could double by 17th March, Tourism Ireland says.
Rio’s Christ the Redeemer Statue, the London Eye, Niagara Falls, Auckland’s Sky Tower as well as several Chicago landmarks will go green for the festival including the Wrigley Building and John Hancock Centre complete with special greening “selfie stations” set to open around the city during the festival.
The aim is to boost visitor numbers to an “incredible eight million‘ in 2015, Minister Donohoe said.
“The success of the Global Greening from a tourism perspective is in the volume of media coverage that is generated,” he continued. “It serves to remind people worldwide of Ireland at a time when many are planning their overseas holidays.”
Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland added:
“The eagerness to take part underlines the strength of the deep spiritual connection that people everywhere feel to Ireland. More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.”
The St. Patrick’s Festival helped generate €280m of publicity last year, Tourism Ireland says.