Ireland‘s global St Patrick’s Day celebrations will take an enviable twist this year with some of the world’s most iconic buildings turning green.
Tourism bosses today revealed New York’s Empire State Building, the London Eye, the Sydney Opera House and the CN Tower in Toronto will all be seen in a new light on March 17.
Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland chief executive, said the colourful ad campaign was a major coup.
“The agreement to allow us to ’green’ such iconic buildings and attractions must be a first for any destination and clearly illustrates the goodwill that the Ireland brand generates across the world,” he said.
“We will use every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile to showcase the uniqueness of a holiday on the island – the diversity of our culture and heritage and the friendliness of our people.”
The tourism boss said it was a unique chance to showcase Ireland to an audience of 70 million people who claim links to the island.
The one-off greening is the highlight of the biggest ever worldwide promotion of Ireland in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day.
The 1 million euro investment targets visitors from Britain, Europe, North America, Australia and new markets such as China, India and South Africa.
Mr Gibbons said there will also be saturation coverage of Ireland on the airwaves, newspapers and digital media.
“We aim to bring a smile to the world. The message is that there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland,” he said.
Officials are aiming to grow tourism numbers by 3% this year – attracting an additional 230,000 visitors to a total of 7.85 million for the year.
The marketing drive has already recruited Boyzone singer Ronan Keating and X Factor losers Jedward for unconventional radio promotions in Britain.
In the run up to St Patrick’s Day, nine railway stations and city centres across the UK will be targeted in surprise publicity stunts.
Riverdance, the World Irish Dance Championships and The Priests have also been lined up for events.
Elsewhere, Irish music and a Riverdance troupe will take over Stockholm central station for St Patrick’s week and in Germany attention-grabbing flash-mobs will descend on Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich on St Patrick’s Day.