The Force is now with tourism - Star Wars effect

Tourism Ireland is feeling the force these days, predicting more than 8m overseas visitors to the country next year thanks, in part, to a Hollywood blockbuster.

The Force is now with tourism - Star Wars effect

Much in the way Game of Thrones boosted tourism in the North, the all-island body is expecting Star Wars: The Force Awakens to have a similar effect for the south and Kerry in particular.

Part of the new Star Wars movie was filmed on Skellig Micheal off the coast of Kerry. By the end of this year, 8m tourists will have visited Ireland, making 2015 the best year ever for Irish tourism.

Tourism Ireland are also planning to build on the success of the Wild Atlantic Way and a new marketing campaign for Ireland’s Ancient East will be launched, promoting 5,000 years of history in the south and east of the country.

That’s the good news, but there is another force at play that spells danger for the tourism industry worldwide. Prominent among those is the threat by violent extremist groups such as Islamic State.

Paris and Brussels have already been affected by the terror attacks in the French capital and the threat level is high for a number countries, including the US, Britain, France, and Russia.

While welcoming the growth in tourist numbers, we can never take visitors to our shores for granted.

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