Fifty Shades of Green: Global landmarks sign up for largest ever St. Patrick's Day celebrations
Irish icons are smiling...
Rome's Colosseum and the Sacré-Coeur in Paris are among the iconic landmarks signed up for Tourism Ireland 'Global Greening' on March 17th.
Details of this year's Greening, which will see landmarks ranging from Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris to Dubai's Burj al Arab bathed in green for St. Patrick's Day, were announced this morning.
As well as the Colosseum and Sacré-Cœur, new additions for 2015 include the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennesse and the famous Porte de Bourgogne in Bordeaux.
Over 60 landmarks have been signed up for 2015, but that could double by the time switches are flicked on March 17th, Tourism Ireland says.
Plans for the Global Greening were unveiled today by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.
2015 is the sixth year for its initiative, and the largest ever global St Patrick’s Day celebrations, they said.
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
Among the dozens of iconic landmarks and buildings going green this year are Rio's Christ the Redeemer Statue, the London Eye, Niagara Falls and Auckland's Sky Tower
Several Chicago landmarks will also go green, including the Wrigley Building and John Hancock Centre, with special greening ‘selfie stations’ set up around the city before the celebrations.
The Global Greening forms part of Tourism Ireland's promotional plans for 2015.
Last year, the 'greening' of over 12o landmarks cost Tourism Ireland an estimated €65,000, an investment which it says generated positive international media coverage for Ireland "worth at least €10 million."
Last year, overseas visitors to Ireland increased by almost 9pc, but the hope is to grow that again in 2015, attracting a record 7.74 million visitors.
The aim is to boost visitor numbers to an "incredible eight million' in 2015, Minister Donohoe said.
"The success of the Global Greening from a tourism perspective is in the volume of media coverage that is generated," he continued. "It serves to remind people worldwide of Ireland at a time when many are planning their overseas holidays."
Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland added:
"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."
The St. Patrick's Festival helped generate €280m of publicity last year, Tourism Ireland says.