16 Mar 2020
Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening helps to keep Ireland to the fore in difficult year for tourism
Ten years ago, Tourism Ireland approached the authorities in New South Wales, Australia, to ask if they’d consider lighting up the Sydney Opera House green on St Patrick’s Day. The occasion was the 200th anniversary of the first reception held for the Irish in Australia, by the then Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie. It was a significant gesture from Australia – which has since been extended by many countries around the globe, in honour of our patron saint.
Tourism Ireland contemplated whether or not to go ahead with its Global Greening project this year, given the extremely difficult circumstances faced by our industry. The feedback Tourism Ireland received from around the globe was that, despite the global challenges of COVID-19, supporters of Ireland are still pressing ahead with Global Greening – to mark St Patrick’s Day and to keep Ireland to the fore in a positive light. Hundreds of iconic landmarks and sites in over 50 countries are set to go green over the next couple of days, as part of Tourism Ireland’s 2020 Global Greening initiative. This is helping to bring some positivity and hope to the 70+ million people around the world who claim links to the island of Ireland, as well as those travel and tourism professionals overseas and at home who promote the island of Ireland as a holiday destination.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are deeply grateful to Ireland supporters across the world who, despite unprecedented challenges, are marking St Patrick’s Day and remembering Ireland in a very positive light. We hope our Global Greening will bring a little positivity and hope to people everywhere and remind them that, if we all do the right thing now by following advice of our medical experts, this crisis will pass. And, that is something we can all look forward to. We would like to extend our support and solidarity to everyone affected by Covid-19, especially workers in the hospitality sector.”
From Brussels to Buenos Aires and from Sydney to San Francisco, a host of buildings and sites around the world are turning a shade of green to mark our national day. Madison Square Garden in New York, the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, Caerphilly Castle in South Wales and even the Smurf Statue in Brussels will join Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative for the first time in 2020.
Other sites and buildings taking part in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening 2020 for the first time include: City Hall in Bangkok, Palais du Peuple in Djibouti City, the National Theatre in London and the Palace Bridge in St Petersburg.
They are joined by some ‘old favourites’ which have gone green in previous years – including the London Eye, Burj al Arab, Niagara Falls, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, the Chain Bridge in Budapest and many others.
Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative has gone from strength to strength – from its beginning back in 2010, when just the Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland went green, to this year, which looks set to be the biggest Global Greening to date. More than 240 sites are already signed up to take part (and new sites are coming on board every day). From Rome to Rio and from London to Las Vegas, a host of buildings and sites around the world will be turning a shade of green over the coming days.
This year’s ‘Greenings’ include some quirky places and things, including:
three of Australia’s famous ‘Big Things’ – The Big Banana, The Big Kangaroo and The Big Tasmanian Devil;
two rhino statues – called Kyela and Lankeu (mother and baby), in Nairobi National Park, Kenya;
the Big Nickel – a giant replica of the Canadian 5-cent coin from 1951, standing nine metres tall in the grounds of the Dynamic Earth science museum in Sudbury, Canada;
the Big Fiddle of the Ceilidh – the world’s largest fiddle, on Cape Breton Island in Canada;
Futalognkosaurus (dinosaur) – a lifesize cast skeleton of a dinosaur in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto;
an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
The Kelpies (horse head statues) in Scotland;
a troupe of ‘greened’ Irish dancers on the London Underground; and
an Irish-Finnish ice fishing championship in Tampere, Finland.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the eighth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and it’s bigger and better than ever this year, with some wonderful (and unusual!) new additions like the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in Addis Ababa, The Kelpies in Scotland and the rhino statues in Nairobi National Park. St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage.”
2019 marks the tenth consecutive year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. New buildings and sites taking part this year include One World Trade Center in New York (the main building of the re-built World Trade Center complex in New York and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere), the beautiful Petit Palais on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc in Barcelona.
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