Tuesday 19 March 2019

450 Shades of Green: Global landmarks light up for St Patrick's Day

The 10th year of Tourism Ireland's Global Greening is underway, and it promises to be the biggest ever

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the world’s tallest building – illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the world’s tallest building – illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening
The Eden Project in Cornwall, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Alistair Heap/PA Wire
The iconic Las Vegas welcome sign joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau
Adare Manor goes green for 2019
The Marbella arches in Spain, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Robert Leja
Bete Giyorgis (Church of Saint George) in Lalibela (Ethiopia), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
The Vasa warship in Stockholm (Sweden) illuminated in green as part of Tourism Irelands Global Greening initiative.
GreenKayak clean-up in Copenhagen, Denmark – volunteers in kayaks give Copenhagen Harbour a ‘green’ makeover by collecting waste, as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Cayan Tower in Dubai illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative
The Canton Tower in Guangzhou (China) joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA, Fukuroi, Shizuoka Prefecture, in Japan – where Ireland will play Japan in the Rugby World Cup in September – illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Galeries Lafayette in Paris, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Christophe Guibbaud
De Grote Kerk in The Hague (The Netherlands), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Nils van Houts
Sauna Kuuma in Tampere, Finland, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Laura Vanzo
The futuristic Reunion Tower in Dallas, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
The Grand Ole Opry – the show that made country music famous! – in Nashville, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Chris Hollo / Hollo Photographics Inc
The Obelisk of Buenos Aires (Argentina), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative
Mac the Moose in Saskatchewan illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Dublin Airport's Old Terminal goes green
Puerta de Alcalá in Madrid, Spain, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: David Mudarra
The MTP Spire in Poznań, Poland, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
St Patrick’s Bike Parade at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – a festive green procession of bicycles, with the bike wheels illuminated with green LED lights, as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.
The historic Cutty Sark sailing ship in Greenwich, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: David Parry/PA Wire (no repro fee)
Bamburgh Castle, on the north-east coast of England, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Scott Heppell/PA Wire
The Beaugrenelle shopping centre in Paris, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Nicolas Gouhier
The TV Tower in Tbilisi (Georgia) joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
Stadthalle, Grafing (Germany), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick. Photo: Stefan Rossman
Council House in Perth (Australia) illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.
The Irish College in Leuven, in Belgium, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative
Cascata Isola del Liri (Italy), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
La Concha Visitors Center in Las Vegas, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Ljubljana Castle in Ljubljana (Slovenia), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Ian Middleton
The Peninsula (hotel) in Hong Kong, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Kevin On Man Lee
Pen Monument, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi (Vietnam) illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative
The Town Hall in Sydney (Australia) illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Fiora Sacco
The Brama Przemyska Bridge in Przemyśl, Poland, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative. Photo: Grzegorz Karnas
The Clock Tower of Tirana (Albania), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Ilir Agastra
San Mamés stadium, Bilbao, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Asier Camacho Fernandez
The Cotton Tree in Freetown, Sierra Leone – where freed slaves gathered on their return to Africa after the abolition of slavery – illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.
The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge in Nashville, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative
Izvestia Hall in Moscow (Russia), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Nation Towers in Abu Dhabi, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative
Bloedel Conservatory, a conservatory and aviary located at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver (Canada), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
The National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia (Bulgaria), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Orlin Ognyanov
The Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava (Slovak Republic), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
The Source of the Nile Bridge in Uganda, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.
Optus Stadium in Perth (Australia) illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative
The InterContinental Abu Dhabi, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative,
Gate of the Citadel, Montevideo (Uruguay), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.
The City Hall in Zamość, Poland, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge in Worcester, Massachusetts, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative
The Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa (Israel), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães in Cascais, Portugal, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
Castello Aragonese in Reggio Calabria (Italy), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Fortunato Serrano
Chijmes in Singapore illuminated in green as part of Tourism Irelands Global Greening initiative...
Portal Maya in Playa del Carmen (Mexico), illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative...
The City Walls in York, illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative... Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

What have the world's tallest building, Niagara Falls, Adare Manor and Finland's sub-zero take on Dragon's Den got in common?

All are among some 450 global landmarks, buildings and events going green this weekend in a burst of colour worth over €10 million to Irish tourism.

That's according to Tourism Ireland, whose 'Global Greening' initiative is rolling out to some 55 counties in this - its tenth, and biggest ever, year.

New 'greenings' for 2019 include Dubai's Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building at 828m - Victoria Falls, and Cornwall's Eden Project.

They join old favourites like the Sydney Opera House, Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris and the Las Vegas welcome sign, in an initiative seeking to capitalise on international goodwill surrounding St Patrick's Day.

It's aim? To encourage people to visit the island of Ireland.

Pari Roller and Polar Bear Pitching

pic 1 - ST PATRICK'S BIKE PARADE (AT THE RIJKSMUSEUM) IN AMSTERDAM JOINS TOURISM IRELAND'S GLOBAL GREENING.jpg
St Patrick’s Bike Parade at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – a festive green procession of bicycles, with the bike wheels illuminated with green LED lights, as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.

The Global Greening is an expression "of our reach, our shared values and our ambition," in the words of An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who recently launched a book telling its story - Ireland's Greening of the World.

"It's impossible to put an accurate figure on [the marketing value], but it's worth a minimum of €10 million," adds Tourism Ireland CEO, Niall Gibbons.

And the cost? €48,000, the marketing organisation says.

Quirkier inclusions this year are a parade of bicycles in Amsterdam and Pari Roller - the world's biggest rollerskating event, which takes place every Friday night in Paris.

In Finland, a wacky version of Dragon's Den called Polar Bear Pitching will even see entrepreneurs pitch business start-up ideas while standing waist-deep in a hole cut through the frozen Baltic Sea.

Bizarrely, they will be lit up in green as they pitch.

Adare Manor Global Greening 2019.jpg
Adare Manor goes green for 2019

Nor is it just overseas landmarks -  Adare Manor is wearing green, and Dublin Airport is rolling out 2.5km of temporary cabling to light up its campus.

“Eleven separate areas are going green, including Terminal 1 and 2 and the airport’s iconic original 1940s passenger terminal,” said spokesperson Paul O’Kane.

10 years a-growing

The Global Greening began life in 2010, when local diplomatic staff helped convince Sydney Opera House and Auckland's Sky Tower to "go green".

Though Irish tourism is booming today, with more than ten million overseas visitors recorded last year, it was a different story when the project sparked up.

"2010 was a very emotional time for Ireland, with the Troika and bank bailouts and all of that, and the initiative had a very emotional appeal," Gibbons recalls.

pic 1 - SKY TOWER IN AUCKLAND JOINS TOURISM IRELAND’S GLOBAL GREENING 2015.jpg
The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, joins Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.

"St. Patrick's Day is undoubtedly the most celebrated national day across the world," adds Rodney Walshe, a former Irish Honorary Consul to New Zealand.

Walshe helped convince the Sky Tower to go green... sweetening the deal with a gift of two bottles of Bushmill's Whiskey.

"As the sun sets on St Patrick's Day, it's the end of the day in New Zealand and [the Greening] goes around the world from there," he says.

With some 70 million people claiming some kind of Irish ancestry, he also believes the initiative deepens links with the diaspora.

"It's a symbol of Ireland," he says.

"People or their parents may have emigrated, and suddenly there it is on St Patrick's Day - the green of Ireland and it's for everybody to join in.

"When you've lived half a world away and you see that green, you feel it... it's indescribable.... your chin goes up and your chest goes out."

"There's no other country in the world that can do that."

"There's a soft power to it," agrees Niall Gibbons, batting away the suggestion that St Patrick's Day PR comes on the back of unsubtle green stereotypes.

The Global Greening - which Tourism Ireland aims to grow to 600 sites by 2025 - targets landmarks that reflect both traditional and modern heritage, he says.

"It brings Ireland to life in a digital era."

Read more:

Ryanair launches new Irish route as airports gear up for St. Patrick's weekend

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