11 Feb 2015 Tourism Ireland today announced that the Colosseum in Rome, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in the fabled district of Montmartre overlooking Paris and the Grand Ole Opry (the show that made country music famous!) in Nashville will go green for the first time ever for St Patrick’s Day this year, as part of the organisation’s sixth annual Global Greening initiative. The announcement of some of the world’s most famous attractions and sites going green to mark St Patrick’s Day kicks off Tourism Ireland’s major first half promotional drive to grow overseas tourism in 2015.
Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening, which sees a host of major landmarks and iconic sites around the world illuminated in green for St Patrick’s Day, has grown from strength to strength, with a number of new landmarks signing up to take part in 2015. As well as the Colosseum, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the Grand Ole Opry, other sites going green for the first time include the famous Porte de Bourgogne in Bordeaux, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge in Nashville, the Jumeirah Etihad Towers hotel in Abu Dhabi, the Town Halls of Munich and Bamberg, the National Sanctuary of Cristo Rei (Christ the King statue) in Lisbon, the Fram polar exploration ship in Oslo, as well as City Hall in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The new sites will join some ‘old favourites’ which have gone green in previous years – including Niagara Falls (on both the US and Canadian sides), the London Eye, the Allianz Arena in Munich, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, the Sky Tower in Auckland, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Cibeles Fountain and Palace in Madrid and one of last year’s newcomers, the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland® in Paris.
Chicago will be ‘going all out’ to celebrate St Patrick and Ireland once again this year, with numerous buildings and sites across the city ‘seeing green’ including Navy Pier, the John Hancock Center, the United Center (home to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls), the Wrigley Building, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Block Thirty Seven shopping mall, Old St Patrick’s Church and Macy’s department store. And special greening ‘selfie stations’ will be set up around the city in the run-up to St Patrick’s Day – so that individual Chicagoans can join in the fun celebrations!
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said: “The 2015 Tourism Ireland Global Greening will again help to raise awareness of Ireland as a visitor destination in key overseas markets. The success of the Global Greening from a tourism perspective is in the volume of media coverage that is generated, with images of the greened landmarks forming part of prime-time news broadcasts on stations around the world, and images of the greened venues appearing in print and online publications and being widely shared on social media. It serves to remind people worldwide of Ireland at a time when many are planning their overseas holidays. Domestically, since 2013, many high profile buildings across Ireland including airports, city and council offices, railway stations, hotels and churches have boosted the festive atmosphere here at home by replicating the international greening, and I would strongly encourage them to do so again this year.” Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan said: “In addition to the obvious tourism and economic benefits which accrue from the greenings, it is very important to stress that the greening of iconic sites around the world is an enormous source of pride to people here in Ireland and to our diaspora overseas. “I am delighted that the Colosseum in Rome is to be greened for the first time, on the initiative of our Embassy in Rome, and that as recently as last night, the Embassy in Paris has secured the agreement of the Mayor of Paris to the first-time greening of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in the fabled district of Montmartre overlooking the city of Paris. The greening of iconic sites is also symbolic of the great friendship that exists between Ireland and so many countries around the world. It presents us with an invaluable opportunity to deepen existing friendships, strengthen awareness of Ireland and our rich heritage, and forge new ties.” Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the sixth 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. In particular, the addition of the Colosseum in Rome, one of the most famous monuments in the world, is a major coup for Irish tourism. “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, the Diaspora and groups like ShamROCK Chicago. The eagerness to take part underlines the strength of the deep spiritual connection that people everywhere 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 Dubai 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 South Africa. 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 2015.” 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.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD; and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at the announcement of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening lineup for St Patrick’s Day 2015.