12 February 2014 – Tourism Ireland has lined up a fairytale ending for St Patrick’s Day this year, as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland® Paris, the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra in Jordan will join its Global Greening 2014. And, in another major coup for Irish tourism, the Pyramids of Giza are set to go green once again this year around 17 March. The annual initiative, which sees a host of major landmarks and iconic sites around the world turn green for St Patrick’s Day has grown from strength to strength, with a number of new landmarks signing up to take part this year.
Other new sites going green for the first time in 2014 include Canada’s famous ski resort of Whistler; one of the highest waterfalls in Europe, the Rhine Falls near Zurich; the distinctive Evoluon Eindhoven in the Netherlands; a host of sites in Chicago – including Soldier Field stadium (home to the famous Chicago Bears team), the Trump International Hotel & Tower, the Wrigley Building and Millennium Park; four iconic skyscrapers in Philadelphia – including the second, third and fourth-highest buildings in the city; Kaprun Castle in Zell-am-See and the Skiwelt Söll (ski resort), both in Austria; the Petrín Lookout Tower in Prague; the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai, India; the new SSE Hydro in Glasgow; and Hannover Town Hall.
Tourism Ireland today announced details of some of the famous attractions and sites around the world which will go green to mark St Patrick’s Day this year, kicking off the organisation’s major first half promotional drive to grow overseas tourism in 2014. The new sites will join some ‘old favourites’ which have gone green in previous years – including the Pyramids in Egypt, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, the Sydney Opera House, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the London Eye, Table Mountain in South Africa, Niagara Falls, the Empire State Building in New York, the Prince’s Palace in Monaco, the Allianz Arena and Odeonsplatz in Munich, the Sky Tower in New Zealand and the Cibeles palace and fountain in Madrid.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore said: “From the iconic site of Petra in Jordan, to Niagara Falls and Table Mountain, St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated by Ireland’s friends all over the world. Tourism Ireland and our embassy network deserve great credit on making the Global Greening initiative such a success. Each and every Greening is an expression of friendship as well as an open invitation to come to visit Ireland.
“St Patrick’s Day is a unique and unrivalled annual opportunity to promote Ireland worldwide, particularly in terms of tourism, but also to encourage people to study and invest in Ireland, and to showcase Irish companies, products, services, food and drink. The Tourism Ireland Global Greening initiative will complement the broader trade and investment-focused programme of ministerial travel for the 2014 St Patrick’s Day period, which will be announced shortly.”
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said: “This is a great way to get the world talking about Ireland on St Patrick’s Day. It’s a simple idea with minimal costs, but it’s also an incredibly effective marketing strategy. It gets Ireland on to front pages around the world, at a time of year when people are planning their summer breaks. Having invited the world to Ireland last year, we want to keep the visitors coming. We will also be greening landmarks at home this year and I expect to make an announcement on those very shortly.”
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the fifth 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 addition of the Treasury in the ancient city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a major success; and in this year of the Winter Olympics, it’s also very fitting that we welcome the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Whistler in Canada and the Skiwelt Söll in Austria to our annual Global Greening. The addition of the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland® Paris is also noteworthy as it is the first time we have aligned with an iconic consumer brand, which will help bring our Global Greening to new audiences.
“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 Irish ambassadors and the Diaspora. The eagerness to take part underlines the strength of the deep spiritual connection that people everywhere feel to Ireland. Over 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 Cairo to Las Vegas. Our St Patrick’s programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia, as well as developing 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 for our overall tourism marketing drive this year.”
In Great Britain, major sites including the London Eye and the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, affectionately known as ‘the Armadillo’, will go green once again this year for St Patrick’s Day. Other buildings set to go green include Manchester Town Hall and the new SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
In North America, Chicago’s ‘greening’ will take place right throughout the week leading up to St Patrick’s Day. It will include the ‘greening’ of Soldier Field stadium, home to the famous Chicago Bears football team, as well as special daily themes – including “Taking it to the Streets”, when State Street and Congress Parkway will turn green; “Eating Green Around the City”; “Broadway in Chicago Goes Green”; “Northside Goes Green”; and “Tall Buildings and Chicago Icons”, which will see the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower, Trump International Hotel & Tower, the Wrigley Building, Chicago Board of Trade, Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the 311 South Wacker Drive “White Castle Building” all turn green for a day.
And the city of Philadelphia is also joining Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening for the first time ever – with four iconic skyscrapers (including the second, third and fourth-highest buildings in the city) set to go green, on 15-17 March. They are the Cira Center, One Liberty Place, Two Liberty Place and BNY Mellon Center. Other famous sites in North America set to go green include Niagara Falls (on both the Canadian and US sides); the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas; the Empire State Building in New York; the City Hall in both San Francisco and Toronto; and Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Tourism Ireland has a host of consumer and travel trade promotions taking place around St Patrick’s Day, and throughout the spring, across North America.
In Europe – also for the first time ever – Tourism Ireland has arranged for the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo and the Skiwelt Söll in Austria to go green on 17 March. Other new ‘greenings’ for 2014 include the distinctive Evoluon Eindhoven (in time to celebrate the new Ryanair flight from Eindhoven to Knock); the Rhinefalls in Switzerland; Kaprun Castle in Zell-am-See, Austria; the Petrín Lookout Tower in Prague; and Hannover Town Hall (to celebrate the new Aer Lingus flight from Hannover to Dublin). These are in addition to other well-known sites which will take on a green hue, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burgtheater (City Hall) in Vienna, the TV Tower in Berlin, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco and the Cibeles fountain in Madrid (where the fans of football club Real Madrid celebrate their triumphs in La Liga or the Champions League). Belgium will also dress its famous Manneken Pis statue in Irish costume; and Tourism Ireland is inviting Irish pubs around Germany to ‘green’ their windows and shop-fronts around 17 March. In Italy, seven Virgin Active fitness centres in Milan plan to ‘green’ their spinning classes on 17 March, with the instructors and gym-goers all wearing green gear on the day and pedalling along to Irish music (in keeping with the Giro and cycling theme of our promotions in Italy this spring).
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 media worldwide – 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.