Green for the day: Petra to be bathed in light for St Patrick's
THE ancient city of Petra in Jordan and three major Norwegian ski slopes will all turn green to mark St Patrick's Day.
The Government and Tourism Ireland have unveiled a €23m plan aimed at promoting Ireland overseas during the St Patrick's Day celebrations.
However, there are fears that a threatened strike at Aer Lingus next month could impact on the number of tourists planning to visit Ireland to mark the occasion.
Tourism chiefs have revealed the series of landmarks which have been added to the list of locations set to turn green on March 17.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland Paris, the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra in Jordan are all new additions to the list.
The Rhine Falls near Zurich in Croatia, the Trump International Hotel & Tower and the Taj Mahal will also turn green as part of the worldwide celebrations.
The sites will join some 'old favourites' such as the Taj Mahal, the Egyptian Pyramids and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said the greening idea represents a "hook" by which inward investment, trade and tourism can be promoted abroad.
He said that March 17 represents the first St Patrick's Day celebrations since Ireland exited the bailout and that this will form "part of the narrative of St Patrick's Day".
Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar said the greening concept generates "enormous publicity at a low cost".
He added: "It gets Ireland onto front pages around the world, at a time of year when people are planning their summer breaks."