~ Stadiums, statues, palaces and towers will go green to celebrate our national day ~
Tourism Ireland today announced that the Colosseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and Nelson’s Column in London will go green this year to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, as part of the organisation’s seventh annual Global Greening initiative.
New ‘greenings’ for 2016 will include 7 World Trade Center at Ground Zero in New York, the famous Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde in Paris, Mole Antonelliana in Turin (the architectural symbol of the city), the light rail system in Addis Ababa (the first light rail system in sub-Saharan Africa) and City Hall in Tel Aviv. Also, the famous Boston Red Sox (baseball team) will wear green jerseys on St Patrick’s Day, for their spring training game in Florida. And their home ground, Fenway Park in Boston, will also join in the ‘greening’ fun – with the inside of the ballpark, the scoreboards and the ‘Green Monster’ (high left field wall) all set to be illuminated in green.
Tourism Ireland’s unique global campaign – which sees some of the world’s most famous attractions and sites going green to mark St Patrick’s Day – kicks off the organisation’s €21.5 / £15 million first half promotional drive to grow overseas tourism in 2016.
The Global Greening initiative has truly gone from strength to strength, with a number of new sites signing up to take part in 2016. These include the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (home of the Nashville Predators ice hockey team), Mount Ulriken TV mast in Bergen, Porte Dijeaux in Bordeaux, Monza’s Villa Reale in Italy and the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. In Brazil, five sites will be illuminated in green for the first time ever on St Patrick’s Day – including the Amazon Theatre (opera house in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest), the Elevador Lacerda in Salvador (an historic art deco elevator which connects the upper and lower parts of the city) and the Carioca Aqueduct in Rio de Janeiro.
The new sites will join some ‘old favourites’ which have gone green in previous years – including the Colosseum in Rome, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, the Allianz Arena in Munich, the Empire State Building in New York and the Sky Tower in Auckland.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said: “St Patrick’s Day presents a unique and wonderful opportunity to promote Ireland worldwide. From a tourism perspective, it comes at a perfect time when many people are starting to plan their annual holidays. 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. People everywhere – even those with no obvious connection to Ireland – demonstrate a strong affinity with St Patrick’s Day, with parades and celebrations taking place in countries right across the world. This is supported by broadcast, print and online media, ensuring widespread publicity for Ireland at minimal cost. In fact, Tourism Ireland estimates that its Global Greening and St Patrick’s promotional programmes generate positive publicity worth in excess of €10 million each March.
“Spanning Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America and Australia, as well as developing markets such as China, India and South Africa, the Global Greening is seen from Nelson’s Pillar in London to the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, with new sites being added each year. I want to congratulate Tourism Ireland for their excellent work in securing such an impressive and widespread list of landmarks going green and I look forward to seeing the new additions lighting up for the first time next month.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the seventh year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and each year I am delighted to see even more well-known attractions and landmark sites wishing to get involved and join our St Patrick’s celebrations.
“The success of our Global Greening initiative is due in no small part to the great work that has been carried out across the world by Irish people down the generations and, in particular, to the great support we’ve received from the Irish embassy network and the Diaspora. The eagerness of cities and countries everywhere to take part underlines the strength of the deep connection that people all over the world 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.
“People across the world instantly identify St Patrick’s Day with the island of Ireland and that heightened profile allows us to put the Ireland holiday experience in the spotlight – from Sydney to London and Tel Aviv to Rio de Janeiro. Our St Patrick’s programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia, as well as emerging tourism markets such as China, India and Brazil. There will be saturation coverage of the island of Ireland across the airwaves, in newspapers and digital media – and that’s an invaluable boost at this time of year for our overall tourism marketing drive in 2016.”
International journalists – representing top media outlets from around the globe – will visit Ireland, taking in the Dublin St Patrick’s Day parade during their time here. And Tourism Ireland will also exploit the profile of St Patrick’s Day with international media – sending images, video footage and news about Ireland to news desks around the world, as well as to its database of about 20,000 influential travel and lifestyle media contacts.