Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe yesterday announced that the Colosseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, and Nelson’s Column in London will also be lit up in green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.
Other new additions to the greening initiative next month include the Mole Antonelliana in Turin and the light rail system in Addis Ababa — the first light rail system in sub-Saharan Africa.
On the sporting front, the Boston Red Sox will wear green jerseys on St Patrick’s Day, for their spring training game in Florida ahead of the new baseball season which starts in April. The inside of the Red Sox’s home ground Fenway Park will also be illuminated green, along with its scoreboard.
The new sites will join some established green landmarks that joined the initiative in previous years, including the Colosseum in Rome, the Little Merm- aid in Copenhagen, the Welcome sign in Las Vegas, the Allianz Arena in Munich, the Empire State Building in New York, and the Sky Tower in Auckland.
The campaign is part of Tourism Ireland’s €21.5m first-half promotional drive to develop overseas tourism in 2016.
Mr Donohoe said that St Patrick’s Day presented a unique opportunity to promote Ireland worldwide, and said that Tourism Ireland estimates that the Global Greening and St Patrick’s promotional programmes generate public- ity worth more than €10m each March.
“From a tourism perspective, it comes at a perfect time when many people are starting to plan their annual holidays,” said Mr Donohoe.
“The Global Greening initiative is an excellent way to position Ireland in people’s minds and to get them thinking about paying us a visit.
“This is supported by broadcast, print, and online media, ensuring widespread publicity for Ireland at minimal cost.”
Earlier this week Mr Donohoe and Tourism Ireland launched plans to increase the number of visitors to Ireland from Spain and Italy by over a quarter between now and 2020.
Tourism Ireland has developed specific strategies to target both markets, according to CEO Niall Gibbons.
“Spain and Italy have performed extremely well for tourism to the island of Ireland in recent years and the future is undoubtedly bright,” said Mr Gibbons.