Green day: Landmarks turn emerald to promote Ireland

Tourism organisations around the globe will be green with envy this week as many of the world’s best-known landmarks turn emerald to mark St Patrick’s Day and promote Ireland as a tourist destination.

The “greening” of some of the most iconic buildings and tourist attractions across the planet including the London Eye, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Empire State Building in New York represents a major PR coup for Tourism Ireland.

Other popular landmarks taking part in the global greening initiative to mark Mar 17 include Table Mountain in South Africa, the town hall in Brussels’ Grand Place, the city hall in Vienna, Colt Tower in San Francisco, and the TV tower in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz.

Tourist sights in cities such as Las Vegas, Madrid, Stockholm, Warsaw, Düsseldorf, and Auckland will also turn green as will the seven-star Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai.

Online travel agencies are also getting involved, with lastminute.com turning its homepage green for three days and Ebookers promoting its Irish holidays on specially “greened” London taxis.

Other British landmarks turning green include Selfridge’s department store in London, the town hall in Manchester, and Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium.

The soccer stadium in the Polish city of Poznan, where Ireland will play Croatia and Italy in the European Championships this summer, will also show its colours while a town on Spain’s Costa Brava, Moraira, located between Alicante and Valencia, will also participate.

Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar said a record number of international landmarks would turn green this St Patrick’s Day, promoting Ireland as a tourist destination to millions of potential visitors.

“We want to give them the green light to visit — literally,” he said.

The minister expressed confidence that the initiative, which represents a unique shop window for Ireland, would significantly raise our profile.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said a similar promotion last year generated about €5m worth of free publicity. The organisation claims the cost of this year’s initiative, which involves more than 25 famous landmarks, will be less than €10,000.

Tourism Ireland said only the London Eye and five skyscrapers in Stockholm known collectively as the Hötorgsskraporna charged for the “greening”.

“Our aim is to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile this week and to exploit the unique opportunity that is St Patrick’s Day,” said Mr Gibbons. “We’ll bring a smile to the face of people around the globe and convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and plenty of fun, as well as spectacular scenery and cultural activities.”


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