Crystal Swing take tourism message to US viewers
IRELAND is anticipating an American tourism bonanza thanks to the appearance of cult country music band Crystal Swing on the hit Ellen DeGeneres show in the US.
Tourism Ireland last night admitted that money couldn't buy the publicity Ireland is now set to reap from the appearance of the Cork family trio on the syndicated NBC/Warner show.
Tourism Ireland's executive vice president for the US and Canada, Joe Byrne, said it was an incredible opportunity to promote Irish holidays on a crucial market.
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show on the NBC network is a hugely popular show in the US. The appearance by Crystal Swing on the show was a great opportunity to spread the good news about the island of Ireland to a huge audience of about 4.8 million viewers -- or potential US holidaymakers -- for Ireland," he said.
As well as the performance by the Irish family, the show also featured a short video showing some of Cork's wonderful scenery and coastline.
Irish tourism chiefs financially supported the appearance of Mary Murray-Burke and her children, Derek (18) and Dervla (17), on the US show.
In a performance tailormade for promoting Irish tourism, Mary presented the US comedian with a 12-year-old bottle of Jameson Whiskey made in her native Midleton -- and then extolled the virtues of Ireland including Blarney Castle as well as Cork and Dublin.
Ellen DeGeneres -- who has won an Emmy award for the seven-year old show -- became a fan of Crystal Swing after stumbling across a video on YouTube of their song 'He Drinks Tequila' last February.
She posted an item about the Cork group on her 'Twitter' page -- and that sparked one of the most incredible web-driven fan campaigns of modern times. One week after the Crystal Swing song was posted on YouTube it attracted just 600 views -- but after a startling two-month internet fan campaign, the video has now attracted 532,000 'hits'.